Children’s museum opening the main attraction of St. George’s Heritage Days; STGnews Photo Gallery

Folks outside the St. George Social Hall enjoying root beer floats, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Celebrating 152 years since its foundation, the tradition of St. George Heritage Days continued with free events around the city and the mayor and city council offering root beers floats to the public on Saturday. The city was also given a birthday present – the official opening of the St. George Children’s Museum in the Town Square, complete with a ribbon-cutting.

St. George Mayor Jon Pike (right) speaking with a city resident, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
St. George Mayor Jon Pike (right) speaking with a city resident, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I think this is a fun tradition Mayor McArthur started (that) I plan to continue,” newly elected St. George Mayor Jon Pike said. He and members of the city council, in aprons, served free root beer floats to people at the St. George Social Hall by the Opera House. “Hopefully, it gets people to think about the heritage of St. George; we’re 152 years young,” Pike said.

The city also offered free SunTran bus rides, free admission to the St. George Art Museum, and free open swimming at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center.

Though Saturday marked its official opening, the St. George Children’s Museum has been operational for the last two months, a time Gail Bunker, president of the museum’s board of directors, joked was “practice.” It was only fitting to hold a ribbon-cutting during Heritage Days, Bunker said.

Former St. George City Councilwoman Gail Bunker speaking at the official opening of the St. George Children's Museum, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Former St. George City Councilwoman Gail Bunker speaking at the official opening of the St. George Children’s Museum, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“The Children’s Museum is a gift to our community,” she said, and thanked the individuals and local businesses that had been involved in making the museum a reality.

The children’s museum features many different exhibits, a number of which were acquired from the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas. Parents and their children rushed into the Community Arts Building at 86 S. Main St. Owned by the City of St. George, city administration is letting the museum rent its two lower floors for use. The children’s museum itself is a non-profit entity that runs on donations.

“This historic building could not be a more perfect place for the museum,” Bunker said, also noting it adds to the attractions in St. George’s downtown area. Visitors were equally pleased with the new attraction.

“We didn’t know what to expect, but when we got here, it exceeded our expectations,” Travis Seegmiller said. “Our kids loved it.” Eliza Brook said her son loved the exhibits and could occupy himself for hours inside. “I thought it was neat,” she said. “It’s a really neat thing to have here.”

“This is a great addition to the different attractions right downtown for families and young people,” Pike said “We hope you’ll come here often.”

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

Folks outside the St. George Social Hall enjoying root beer floats, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Folks outside the St. George Social Hall enjoying root beer floats, St. George, Utah, Jan. 18, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

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