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Rexburg carousel kicks off summer

“We stopped and looked at the carousel and my wife said we have to fix it,” said resident who helped restore the carousel, Alva Graydon Burton.

In 1976, the Teton Dam burst, damaging the carousel which had been purchased about 20 years prior by citizens for $5,500 dollars.

Alva Graydon Burton’s late wife Patricia Burton, took it upon herself to organize a group to restore the carousel. With a lot of hard work and determination, citizens back in the day restored the town’s musical treasure.

“We have this organ that plays the original music that was played when it was first built,” said Rexburg Recreation Director Jeff Crowther.

Preserving as much of the original structure as possible was the goal, for the things that couldn’t be preserved, they were replaced with the spirit of Idaho in them. For example, the custom painted decorative panels and the horses reflecting the symbols of our beloved western state.

“It’s a very important part of our culture and our history here, and it’s actually one of only 170 live carousel’s left in the country,” said Rexburg Mayor Jerry Merrill.

When you visit the carousel, you’ll notice it is now kept in an enclosed and secure garage. This is to preserve it for as many future generations that time allows.

“They looked at the carousel and several of them said, ‘it’s not possible, you couldn’t have done this, you had to have had somebody else professional do this’, and we said oh no, we did not have any professional working on this carousel,” Burton said.

Back then, residents took great care of this beloved treasure. Today, it is under the care of the City.

The carousel kickoff is usually on Memorial day, but due to the weather, it was postponed until Friday.

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