Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Small town Christmas Merry Go Round Tradition

Christmas Merry Go Round

I love my hometown at Christmas time.  Well, I love my hometown all the time.. but Christmas time is just so quaint here.  We have so many traditions that mean alot to me.  Our Christmas Merry-go-Round is one of them.  I have rode on this Merry Go Round every Christmas season of my life!  It's not just for kids -- us adults love it too!   I have included some pictures and a little history in case you are interested. 

(Pictures provided by photographer and good friend, Carol Stewart)

The Christmas Merry-Go-Round was provided to Valley area children as a Christmas gift from the West Point Manufacturing Company beginning in  1956. It was located on the softball field behind the Fairfax Theater/Recreation Department Building in the Fairfax community of what is now Valley, Alabama. The theater/rec building has since been torn down.

The original carousal contained 30 horses and four carriages. The horses were in sets of three and were such colors as palomino, white, black, gray, and bay. Each horse was adorned with a pine wreath and a big red bow that hung around its neck. As the years passed by, the horses on the carousel were all painted white with black manes and tails, and the pine wreaths around their necks were discontinued.

Pine garland surrounded the carousel railing, as well as the ramp and archway leading to the entrance chain. The ground was covered in sawdust, and all around were cedar trees decked in brightly colored lights. Christmas music flowed from inside the center of the carousel and filled the air with Christmas cheer.
Tickets to the carousel were free and available from a friendly person inside a big, red candle with a flame on top. One Christmas season often sees over 60,000 carousel riders and each new season welcomes a fresh crop of young riders and many older fans who are still filled with childhood memories as they revisit the wonder and the magic of the Christmas Merry-Go-Round.

After West Point Pepperell became West Point Stevens and later West Point Home Inc., the City of Valley worked with the company to help keep the Christmas Merry-Go-Round a continued tradition. In 2008, West Point Home Inc. ended operations in the Valley; the City and local corporate sponsors worked together to ensure that the over 50-years old tradition would not end and in 2011, the Christmas Merry-Go-Round will celebrate 55 years of operations.

A couple of  pics from this year.


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