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Happy Merry-Go-Round Day!

A favorite of festival-goers, the carousel is 145 years old today.

July 25, 2016 | Latest Photo Prev Next
A merry-go-round in Jerusalem.A merry-go-round in Jerusalem.Photo: Benyamin Cohen
July 25, 2016 | Latest Photo

Did you know that today is National Merry-Go-Round Day?

July 25 was chosen because it coincides with the first U.S. patent for the modern carousel, given to Iowa's William Schneider on July 25, 1871. Since that fateful day more than a century ago, merry-go-rounds have become popular fixtures at circuses and outdoor festivals.

This summer, we spotted the one in the photo above at Israel's First Station, appropriately named because it was the first train station in Jerusalem. It's a historic site and no longer in use for trains. Instead, the classy vintage structure was renovated in 2013 and now serves as the perfect place for a modern multi-use community area – including shops, restaurants, an art gallery, a venue for events, and a kids' play area featuring this merry-go-round, among other rides.

In addition to being a ride for the kid in all of us, these carousel rides have also found a home in music. Namely, we found at least 10 songs that were called "Merry-Go-Round" – including ones by ABBA to Mötley Crüe to The Replacements. But perhaps our favorite is 1968's "Merry-Go-Round" by Fleetwood Mac. As their lyrics so eloquently states: "Take my hand, now, hold it tight and don't let go. Yes, 'cause our love is like a merry go round. And 'round forever it's gonna go."

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