The Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay will offer free admission to children 12 and under when it hosts a day-long “season opening” celebration on May 28. Of course, the museum is open throughout the year, but this particular day will highlight some of the museum’s newest additions for all ages.
Possibly the most unique addition is associated with the tug John Purves. A new parade float replicating the famous Great Lakes tug and the museum’s popular in-water exhibit will be on display. Featuring many of the same attractive features of the real tug with a working smokestack and horns, the self-propelled float rests on a truck chassis and will be a regular at upcoming Door County parades. This will be the first opportunity for the general public to see this one-of-a-kind attraction. As usual, tug tours will be offered throughout the day on Saturday.
Inside the museum, visitors will see a number of new interactives in the Horton Gallery. Particularly intriguing will be the addition to the Elba pilothouse where pilots of all ages will be able to grab the wheel and try and navigate the Elba through the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel and its bridges.
Seven video screens will simulate a real-time dynamic view from the actual bridge of the Elba, a historic 400-foot-long vessel. As the ship enters the man-made ship canal from the lake, clouds and fog may momentarily obscure vision from which the pilot will emerge to see the first bridge.
Also in the Horton Gallery, the interactives in the adjacent Sea Dogs exhibit have been enhanced to better give visitors true-to-life examples of the significance of dogs in a maritime setting. The “Sea Dogs” chronicle some of those amazing “tails” and the enduring human-canine relationship forged on the high seas.
Admission is $13 for adults (including the tug). Call the museum at 920.743.5958 or visit dcmm.org for more information.