June 16, 2023 — City Council heard public comment on the historic carousel at its legislative session on Wednesday night and then declined to take any action that would move the amusement park ride.
“Consideration of whether to relocate the Hampton carousel is premature at this time,” Mayor Donnie Tuck said. "To date, the Council and the citizens have not been presented with a formal plan for potential redevelopment of this area.
"However, the Council has set aside (American Rescue Plan) funds to be used to make improvements and add resilient enhancements to Carousel Park, and we intend to move forward with those efforts with the carousel in its current location.”
The carousel dates to the 1920s at Buckroe Beach. It is one of fewer than 200 such antique carousels still operating in the United States. The Downtown Hampton Development Partnership had proposed a new vision for the park that would relocate the carousel and replace it with building where the landmark sits.
The carousel has been closed for a year, in need of major structural repairs. City Manager Mary Bunting said a company is under contract and expects to begin work in July. The repairs, which will require parts to be manufactured by hand, are expected to be completed in the fall.