The Grand Carousel will return to the Mid-South Fairgrounds in a new state-of-the art facility.
Getting ready for the carousel to return to Memphis fully restored in 2017, we began constructing a building worthy of this new exhibit in July 2016. Not only will it require a building for the carousel, but we need space for an expected increased attendance of 150,000 visitors and school Children. Our architects and contractor have finished up the plans, it is estimated the building will cost around $5 million. The last capital campaign the museum undertook was in 1999 when the museum had a goal to raise $6 million for its 2002 expansion – the museum actually raised $7.2 million. The museum has a 28-year donor history, 1,600 on-going supporters and is very confident all goals will be met. A line of credit will be used for construction to begin, and as pledges come in, the building will be paid for in less than three years.
The timing of the project also includes more space for the museum’s numerous educational camps, bring our birthday party business back, and provide much needed space for school Children on field trips to eat lunch. The inside of the museum is bursting at the seams, so we are looking forward to having some additional spaces to accommodate our guests. Not only will the carousel be the crown jewel of our campus, but it is an attractive venue. According to the National Carousel Association, brides love to have carousel themed receptions and/ or weddings, and this opens up a new world for the museum for facility rentals. This additional income will help further the museum’s mission and help us reach many different audiences we haven’t served before.