Last whirligig makes it to Wilson

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park set to open in late October

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The last whirligig to be moved from Vollis Simpson’s pasture has made its way to downtown Wilson.

Early Sunday morning, the 24-foot fan blade from the whirligig was loaded onto a low-boy truck and escorted from Lucama, up U.S. 301 to Wilson, where it will be one of the featured pieces in the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park. A second truck carried more pieces of the whirligig.

Juan Logan, park conservation manager, said the move went as well as could be expected.

The whirligig features horses pulling a wagon. When it’s restored, the horses will gallop and their ears will move back and forth, Logan said. The rider will wave, and the wagon wheels will turn.

This whirligig will be located near 217 Brew Works and will be one of largest pieces in the park, he said.

Logan said the piece, which he calls “Horse,” will probably be the last whirligig to go in the park, but it will be in place when the park opens.

Kimberly Van Dyk, planning and community revitalization director, said the park is expected to open in late October, before this year’s N.C. Whirligig Festival in early November.

Park construction is going on right now as well as completion and conservation of the whirligigs, she said.

“You’ll see a lot of activity there this spring, summer and early fall,” Van Dyk said.

Logan said in the next two to three weeks, a few more whirligigs should be added to the park, depending on the weather.

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is located on Goldsboro Street in downtown Wilson. The park will feature whirligigs made by the late Vollis Simpson. The park is a partnership between Wilson Downtown Development Corporation, Wilson Downtown Properties, city of Wilson and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Kohler Foundation funding is currently being used for the whirligig repair and conservation. The Kohler funding was announced last year.

The Kohler Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Kohler plumbing product company.

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810