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Tom Leatherwood
 
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Zippin Pippin

The wooden roller coaster erected on the Fairgrounds in 1923 was the Mid-South's premier outdoor amusement park ride for more than eight decades. It was built by coaster design pioneer John Miller and was affectionately christened the Pippin, 1920s slang for the cherished or admired. Strong wind damaged it in 1928, but it was quickly rebuilt. With a track length of 2865 feet and car speeds of up to 40 mph, its minute -and-a-half-long ride was rough, noisy and exhilarating. Its 70 foot long initial drop made it notable for its air time among coaster enthusiasts far and wide. In 1976 with the advent of Libertyland it was renamed the Zippin Pippin. It was Elvis Presley's favorite ride, enjoyed on his last public outing. It was sold to Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2010 for use in its Bay Beach Amusement Park.