Local News

Wilson whirligig park receives $30,000 grant

Posted August 27, 2012

The colorful whirligig creations of Vollis Simpson have inspired a proposed park in Wilson.

— A project to restore and relocate of 29 large, colorful whirligigs in Wilson received a $30,000 boost on Monday.

A grant from North Carolina's SmART Initiative will go towards repairing whirligigs created by folk artist Vollis Simpson, as well as the creation of a 2-acre park and an arts district surrounding the park.

The park aims to attract tourists to Wilson and boost the local economy.

The State Arts Council "understands that this will be a catalyst to move our economy in Wilson and eastern North Carolina into a competitive position in the 21st century," Henry Walston, the project's volunteer chair, said.

More than $2 million dollars has been raised from other sources, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The whirligig park is on track to open in November 2013.


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  • mep Aug 27, 2012

    Grant money is usually another term for taxpayer money.... some private institutions hand them out.... but usually its taxpayer money.

  • dirkdiggler Aug 27, 2012

    Man, there goes Acid Park :( One of the coolest things I was shown when I moved to NC.

  • justabumer Aug 27, 2012

    Grant money isn't always taxpayers' money which is why I asked about the source for this group's funding.

  • cushioncritter Aug 27, 2012

    If "whirligig" creation violates local (based on international) zoning/building codes, there is no reason to memorialize a nostalgic time before we became so enlightened. It creates a false impression that the socialists are tolerant of "eccentricity" from another era.

  • retiredcfcc Aug 27, 2012

    Is'nt grant money, really taxpayers money?Funny that the country is broke but can find money for such projects.Highways need repairs, but state saids "no" money, yet Butterfield finds unspent DOT money, that he wants to use as grant money for other projects.DOT money should be spent on our roadways, not wasted. Don't forget we pay one of the highest tax on gas. Just another democRAT wasteful spending.

  • whatever02 Aug 27, 2012

    We called it Acid Park too and used to ride out there quite a bit. It was awesome. It was like coming up out of nowhere onto a city. Just great, not to mention all the stories that went along wth it.

  • maybelle Aug 27, 2012

    I am so glad they can save those things. We called it acid park growing up and they were an awesome site to0 watch

  • justabumer Aug 27, 2012

    Who funds the SmART Initiative?

  • rec1646 Aug 27, 2012

    $2,030,000 for 29 whirlygigs? It is a small wonder that the country is past broke huh?

  • dae66 Aug 27, 2012

    So glad this is happening!