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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

'Night at the Museum': Live exhibits draw crowd

Monday, April 7, 2008

(Photo)
Posing as ladies from the 1880s from left are Mckenzie Hartman and Katy Koerselman. They greeted visitors Russ Pierce and Courtney Nelson during the Plymouth County Historical Museum's "Night at the Museum" Saturday.
Ladies of the 1880s, a wounded soldier with nurses at his side, a white-gloved elegant piano player all came to life Saturday in the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

About 85 men, women and children gathered to watch the movie "Night at the Museum" and traveled back in time with a tour of the museum with living characters.

As Russ Pierce, Sioux City, shook hands with two live mannequins dressed in long, flowing dresses of the 1880s he said this was his first visit to the museum.

(Photo)
Breeanna Pierce introduced members of the Le Mars Community High School cheerleaders who helped bring exhibits to life Saturday at the Plymouth County Historical Museum's "Night at the Museum" program.
"We're interested to see what other exhibits come to life," Pierce said.

The museum's event mimicked the movie "Night at the Museum" where lions, soldiers, cavemen, miniature cowboys and a dinosaur skeleton come to life during the night and cause mischief until dawn.

Judy Bowman, museum administrator, said she has wanted to have a similar event at the Plymouth County museum ever since seeing the movie.

(Photo)
Breeanna Pierce introduced members of the Le Mars Community High School cheerleaders who helped bring exhibits to life Saturday at the Plymouth County Historical Museum's "Night at the Museum" program.
"Since we have a huge museum, we thought it would be fun to have our museum come to life," Bowman said. "We want to focus more on youth and children."

In addition to watching the movie and seeing "live" exhibits, participants also drank rootbeer floats in the Miller's Lunch exhibit.

As Mike and Pat Siebens and daughter Natalie, of Le Mars, finished their treats Saturday, they all agreed the event was fun.

"It was cool with all the people that were real in the old stuff," Natalie said.

Mike added, "We thoroughly enjoyed it. We thought it was neat."

Members of the Le Mars Community High School basketball cheerleading squad were in charge of the event. Cheerleader Breeanna Pierce said "Night at the Museum" was a way for the squad to pay for using the museum's gymnasium for practicing. It cost $2 to attend.

"It's a big help," Breeanna said of being able to use the gym because space is limited at the high school.

Costumes used in the exhibits came from the "costume closet" at the high school. Those items are used for the student theater productions.

Bowman said having the cheerleaders and other students work together with museum officials was another way to reach out to the community.

"It's so good to know that kids out there are willing to help us out," she said.

Bowman hopes "Night at the Museum" can become an annual program, and she has other ideas to help make it better like inviting adults and children to be in the live exhibits or to have guests dress in their favorite movie characters.

"I thought it was a fantastic first-time event," Bowman said. "It's a way to get other people in that maybe have never been here before."



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