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Petersburg Museums will open their doors free of charge on Saturday, September 26, 2015, as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 11th Annual Museum Day Live! A nationwide event, Museum Day Live! offers free admission to visitors presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution. Petersburg Museums will also extend the offer to all walk-ins.
Inclusive by design, the event represents Smithsonian’s commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone, giving museums across all 50 states the opportunity to emulate the admission policy of the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C. Last year’s event drew over 400,000 participants nationwide, and this year’s event expects record-high participation.
Museums hours of operation will be regular Saturday hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor’s Center will open at 9 a.m. Music events will begin at Centre Hill Museum at 3 p.m. The “Blandford Cemetery Treasure Hunt” will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Other activities include, spinning yarn on a wheel, knitting and quilting in Centre Hill Circle will begin at 2:30 p.m. with a historic arts crafts person. Children’s games and historic costumes “dress up” will continue through the day. Scavenger hunts and other education activities will take place throughout the day. Tours will take place throughout the day with the final tours starting at 4 p.m.
The Petersburg Museums participating in this year’s event are:
? Historic Blandford Church – 111 Rochelle Lane, (804)733-2396. Originally constructed in 1735 as an Anglican church, the building now serves as a memorial to Confederate soldiers. Fifteen windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany were installed between 1904 and 1912 in memory of soldiers from each Confederate state. The adjacent cemetery also offers other lessons.
? Centre Hill Museum – 1 Centre Hill Avenue, (804)733-2401. Built in 1823 by Robert Bolling IV, a Revolutionary War veteran and prominent citizen of Petersburg, Centre Hill remained a residence until 1936. U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and William H. Taft visited while they were in office. Through guided tours, visitors learn about the building’s architecture and collection of decorative arts. Renovated shutters have recently been installed and will be on view.
? The Siege Museum – 15 West Bank Street, (804)733-2402. Exhibitions interpret civilian life in Petersburg before, during, and immediately after the Civil War. An additional exhibit features Civil War photographs taken by Matthew Brady. “The Echoes Still Remain”, a film narrated by Petersburg native, actor Joseph Cotten, is shown every thirty minutes.
The Museum Day Live! ticket is available to download at Smithsonian.com/museumdaylive. Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2015 and a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit:Smithsonian.com/museumday/venues. For more information, please call (804) 733-2400 or visit www.PetersburgVA.gov.