OTTUMWA — In partnership with the Iowa Museum Association, Gov. Terry Branstad has declared this week Iowa Museum Week. The week is dedicated to showcasing and raising awareness about area museums.
"The goal of the week is to increase awareness in every community in Iowa as to what their local museum[s] bring to the community in terms of economic benefit from tourism dollars spent in restaurants and shops, hotel/motel tax revenue, revenue from goods and services purchased by museums, jobs provided by museums and quality of life enhancement." said Cyndi Sweet, the executive director of the Iowa Museum Association.
Statewide, Iowa museums attract nearly 5 million visitors while employing 2,300 Iowans. Museums continue to rank among the top three family vacation destinations in the U.S. If you aren't up for a lot of travel, the American Associate of Museum reports that 22 percent of the nation's museums are in rural areas.
The Wapello County Historical Society encourages area residents to celebrate Iowa Museum Week with a visit to the WCHS Museum, 210 W. Main St., Ottumwa. The museum is celebrating with freewill donation admission to the museum. In addition, there will also be a presentation at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Railroad Clubhouse, adjacent to the museum. During the event, Chuck Bates will be presenting 27 flags from the Park Sullivan collection.
Visitors can see a variety of different exhibits from a doll collection to a John Deere exhibit. "The John Deere exhibit is the most popular right now because there are so many local employees and retirees," said Mary Ellen Schmitz, who serves as the secretary of the Wapello County Historical Society.
According to Schmitz, the WCHS is currently planning new exhibits for the museum.
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