‘Free the Carousel’ march held Sunday

Pieces of Red Grooms carousel are currently sitting in storage. (WSMV)

A prominent Nashville artist led a march this weekend designed to “Free the Carousel.”

That might make sense to you if you lived in the Nashville area 20 years ago, but not so much now.

It takes some imagination to fully appreciate what you’re seeing, pieces of a merry-go-round that once spun around in downtown Nashville.

“It’s a beautiful statement for Nashville. It’s a masterpiece,” said Myles Maillie, a Hillsboro High graduate.

Maillie is talking about Hillsboro graduate Red Grooms’ carousel creation.

Painting signs for a March on Sunday, hundreds of walkers who want to see that carousel ride again.

“All I had to do was turn the switch, so to speak,” said Maillie.

The carousel’s characters haven’t moved in years. All of them have a Tennessee connection – Thomas Ryman’s steamboat, Wilma Rudolph and her Tigerbelles, Chet Atkins’ famous fedora.

Warehouse life for a once colorful calliope seems a little sad. Donated money is the only way to change that.

“And it’s time for private citizens. We’ve got them out there, c’mon 50 people at 100 Gs, that’s easy money. That’s chump change,” said Maillie.

Tennessee history, always ready to ride.

“It will be striking when people finally see it and say, ‘My gosh, why did we wait so long?’” said Maillie.

The walk was held Sunday from 1-3:30 p.m. Walkers met in front of the Nashville Public Library in downtown Nashville.

The Tennessee State Museum has the carousel in storage and plans to do something with it in the future.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990.

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