Giant wheels will roll into Burnett Park for Loop exhibit

What happens when you combine 12 huge cylinders with pump levers, two people each and a downtown park? Eyes appear in the dark. A toad becomes a prince. A wolf blows down the three little pigs’ houses. In short, the magic of fairy tales come to life.

Loop is a larger-than-life cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar. The family-friendly, illuminated musical installation consists of 12 giant zoetropes — an optical toy invented in the 19th century that predates the animated film — that show images in rapid succession, creating the illusion of motion.

The interactive exhibit is free and is brought to Burnett Park, at West Seventh and Lamar streets, by Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

Loop opens to the public on Sept. 28 and will run through Oct. 28. Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week.

Loop features a distinctive retro-futuristic look, using cylinders more than two meters in diameter. People sit inside the giant wheel and pump the lever together to activate the beautiful images inspired by 12 childhood fairy tales. When the cylinder starts spinning, it lights up, making a series of still images appear to move through a flickering strobe effect that accompanies the black and white images. The animation is visible both inside and outside the cylinder and can be viewed from up close or far away. The speed at which the images move, the frequency of the flickering and the tempo of the music are all directly related to the pace set by the participants, who can be of any age.

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