By: GRACIE LINDFORS / Staff Writer        Photograph by: WHITNEY JOYNER / Asst. Art Director

 

Many Barton students have been looking for fun things to do in Wilson. The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is an attraction in Wilson, and it is only five minutes away from the college.

 

Vollis Simpson was a farm machinery repairman from Wilson County, who took recycled industrial parts and turned them into Whirligigs.

 

“He incorporated elements from machines, farming, equipment, trucks, bicycles, etcetera., that he sourced from this area,” said  Executive Director of Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, Jeff Bell.

 

COVID-19  has caused many of Barton’s normal events to be canceled, thus leaving the students without anything to do. The Whirligig park is open from 5 a.m. to midnight every day, including holidays. Walking around the park is completely free.

 

“Whirligig Park is one of my favorite places in town because it is so close to the school and all the whirligigs are really awesome to go around and look at,” said Barton College Freshman Tyre1l Newby.

 

The park has tables and shade available for picnics, reading, hanging out, or just a place to relax. The park would be a quick and easy way to go have lunch with all of your friends, go on a date, or even play a game with your friends.

 

“The park is such a great local attraction and many people from near and far are taking advantage of visiting it for some much-needed time outside during this difficult year,” said the Visitor Services Coordinator at Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, Carolyn Hill,

 

Every year there is a Whirligig Festival in Wilson. However, due to COVID-19, they have pivoted to a virtual event. The 2020 N.C. Whirligig Festival will be available November second through the eighth online. There will be contests, a virtual marketplace, and activities each day.

 

The next event at the Whirligig Park will be in December called Electric Light Fantasy. There will be holiday shows and a light show with synchronized lights. In order to maintain distance, everything will be presented drive-in movie style. They will be showing four shows on December 4-5 and 11-12.