Carousel circles back in time at Burlington City Park

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- The Burlington City Park is a tradition for the people who live in and around the city. But for thousands more, it`s a hidden gem, and once they find it, they just keep coming back.

“It`s just a step back in time - the park and the rides,” said Jim Parks.

Parks brings his grandchildren to the Burlington amusement park from Caswell County.

“The kids love the park,” he said. "They love the rides. They particularly just love to play on the playground, but they love the rides so we get here three times a year."

The Dentzel Carousel is the biggest star. This century-old carousel is rare - there`s only one other in the state.

“These are wooden horses,” explained Lisa Wolff with the City of Burlington. “Wooden animals, all hand-carved.  And on the exterior side of each animal you can see the muscular structure is much more detailed versus on the inside.”

Around 50,000 people ride the carousel every year, but the city wants people to know this park is not a one-pony show. There`s plenty more for visitors to do, and it`s good inexpensive fun for the whole family.

“The carousel is certainly the crown jewel, but there are other smaller rides and a train that rides through the park as well,” said Wolff.

Audrey Vetter brings young Harper Howerton to the park every other week.

“Harper really loves the rides, and we always go over there and get a snow cone, and we ride the train,” Vetter said. “She always has a lot of fun.”

Harper said her favorite part of the park is the train. She also enjoys the snow cones.

The diesel-powered train goes through the shady area of the park and through a tunnel. Kids can fly a plane in the park or ride a miniature police car, fire truck or tractor. And there`s the boat ride for the babies.

The rides only cost $1. They’re 75 cents on Thursdays. Season passes are also available. They only take cash or check.

For more information, go to http://www.burlingtonnc.gov/citypark.