When entrepreneur Teddy Meeks and his wife, Jenny, visited Pier Park retail and entertainment strip along Panama City Beach soon after its 2007 opening, they decided that "with tons of kids running around" it was the perfect place for a carousel.
The Meekses, who moved to the beach seven years ago — and own a wholesale jewelry company in Griffin, Ga. — soon embarked on developing a new Miracle Strip Amusement Park, a smaller version of a beach icon operated for 41 years until changing times and condo fever shut it down in 2004.
Today, the park has four rides, among them the 1964 Allan Herschell carousel they discovered in an unlocked 18-wheeler on the original amusement park site. Also reclaimed are the former park’s 1958 Red Baron biplane and a 1985 balloon race ride; the fourth ride, a replica of the original park’s 1975 Big Eli ferris wheel, was found in California. They’re aiming for 10 rides at buildout.
Balloon race ride at Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City Beach