by Kate | September 4, 2012
It might be tough to get film director Ron Howard to mingle with the attendees at your meeting. And it would be downright impossible to get the late Andy Griffith to put in an appearance. (Unless of course you have access to a really good psychic medium.) But if the meeting is in Raleigh, NC, your attendees can at least have a photo taken with them, um, sort of.
In 2003, the cable channel, TV Land, unveiled a life-size statue called “Andy & Opie” depicting Griffith’s most famous character, Sheriff Andy Taylor with his son Opie, who, as we all know, was played by a young Ron Howard. The statue is on display at Pullen Park in Raleigh. It doesn’t have a pedestal, which means groups, like the gang from our recent SMU Southeast (pictured) can gather around and have a group photo taken with the much beloved characters.
There are lots of other things to do at Pullen Park, which is the fifth oldest operating amusement park in the United States and the sixteenth oldest in the world. The two main attractions are the C.P. Huntington miniature train, a one-third size, near-replica of the famous locomotive of the same name and a circa-1900 Dentzel Carousel. 
The train is a replica of the1863 C.P. Huntington, a steam locomotive purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad and named in honor of Collis P. Huntington, President of the Southern Pacific Company. It winds around the entire park in a continuous loop. 
The carousel was installed at the part in 1921 and according to the National Carousel Association Census, is one of 23 remaining historic Dentzel carousels and one of 14 Dentzel menageries still operating in Northern America. The carousel was accepted for the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.