Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pullen Park - Open Again!

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I happened to glance at the front page of the newspaper yesterday and noticed that the long awaited reopening of Pullen Park was happening.  The park was closed back in December of 2009 for renovations, and the work took longer than expected. We were sad when it closed because we often visited the park to ride the miniature train, carousel, and kiddie boats, and we eagerly anticipated the park's reopening.  Since we didn't have any other big plans, we headed over later in the day.  I was worried that we wouldn't be able to find a place to park, but thankfully the city provided offsite shuttle parking which made our visit a lot easier.

According to Wikipedia:
Pullen Park was founded on March 22, 1887 when Richard Stanhope Pullen donated farmland to the City of Raleigh expressly to be used as a space for recreational enjoyment of citizens and visitors to Raleigh, NC. This land became Pullen Park, the first public park in North Carolina.

According to the census of the National Amusement Park Historical Association, Pullen Park is the 14th oldest amusement park in the world.

A miniature train, added to the park in 1950, goes through a tunnel and around the park. The tunnel and a second train were added in 1971. The C.P. Huntington Train is a one-third sized operational miniature train has thrilled children of all ages since it was added to the park in the 1950s. The engine is a near exact replica of a locomotive that was built in 1863 at the Danforth-Cook Locomotive works in Paterson, New Jersey.

The Pullen Park Carousel was made circa 1900 by master carver Salvatore Cernigliaro of the Dentzel Carousel Company of Germantown, Pennsylvania. It contains 52 hand-carved basswood animals, 2 chariots (or sleighs), 18 large gilded mirrors and 18 canvas panels and a Wurlitzer 125 organ made in 1924 by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York. The Dentzel Carousel Company was the first American carousel company and while thousands of carousels were made in the U.S., there are only approximately 200 antique carousels left today and fewer than 25 of those are Dentzel carousels and only 14 of those remain in operation.


My daily shot is a picture of a climbing structure on the playground.  Johnny was able to get to the top 3 times and was very proud of himself.  As you can see, the new structure was a big hit with all the kids.

Upon entering the park, we were greeted to beautiful autumn colors, an enthusiastic crowd, and all new buildings done in green including an overhead park sign.

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We didn't ride the carousel because of the crowd, but I did take a peek inside at the new temperature controlled setting.  This is much brighter.  The carousel is rich in history, and I'm sure this new building will help keep it around for generations to come.

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Here Johnny runs up some new steps to greet the train as it passes by.  There are many more train crossings and gates in the park now than there used to be.  Fun!

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I enjoyed these shots of my guys too:

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And last but not least was the gorgeous view around Lake Howell.  During the improvements, they really improved the path that goes around the lake.  Lots of room for families to walk and to sit and have a picnic lunch.  It's very picturesque.

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Joey wanted to go out on the pedal boats.  Hopefully we'll be back again soon so he can do that.

In other news, Joey is ready to cook for Thanksgiving:

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I can't wait to cook with my boys and enjoy a meal with them and Donnie.  I won't be lifting the heavy bird this year, but I should be able to do most of the other meal prep.  Joey is excited to help.

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