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Celebrate May Day at the Maritime Museum

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: May Day

• WHEN: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 21

• WHERE: Maritime Museum of Sandusky, 125 Meigs St., Sandusky  

• COST: Free

• INFO: 419-624-0274 or sanduskymaritime.org

For parents looking to actually do something educational with their kids, The Maritime Museum of Sandusky has the perfect bait-and-switch event with its May Day affair taking place May 21 at the downtown Sandusky attraction.

“It’s tied into Safe Boating Week, International Museum Day and Kidsfest, which takes place across the street at the Sandusky Bay Pavilion,” Maritime Museum of Sandusky Director Neil Allen said. “This is the tenth year we’ve done the event. It kind of kicks off the season. We have the free boat rides on the Sawmill Explorer, the old ferry boat for Cedar Point. The rides take place at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

“We also have a nautical flea market with vendors selling nautical maritime type related things like antiques and craft items from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. here in the parking lot of the museum. There’s also Underground Railroad trolley tours at 11 a.m. Saturday that is free, but you need to make reservations at the museum. Last year we had 4,000 people attend the museum and flea market,” Allen said. “It’s usually good weather for getting out.”

Because it’s part of International Museum Day, The Maritime Museum of Sandusky will also have free admission, free model boat building for kids, boat rides and the Capt’n Willie’s Silly Pirate Show. It’s the latter attraction that has Allen excited.

“He’s very, very popular with the kids and adults,” Allen said. “He does like a silly pirate show, but he ties in environmental education about the Great Lakes. The kids really like it. He’s been coming here for years.”

As far as the mass appeal of the Maritime Museum of Sandusky, Allen said recent guests reminded him just how fun and educational the museum can be.

“We just had a group of 36 seniors from Marine City, Michigan who seemed to have a good time,” Allen said. “They actually made the boat models, which I wasn’t sure as seniors they’d be interested in that but they all took them away as a souvenir. They liked the interactive things we have, like the half-Lyman boat that you can climb into, honk the horn and run the windshield wipers. They were also interested in the knot tying, and spent a lot of time doing the interactive activities on computers. That tells me we’re not a static museum. It’s interactive. Also it tells me we’re a family-friendly museum.”

Even though the Maritime Museum of Sandusky has been around for a while, Allen feels the venue is still somewhat underappreciated throughout the area.

“I think so because we get a lot of people that say they drive by it everyday but they never stop to see it,” Allen said. “I guess that’s typical. You don’t appreciate what’s in your own backyard. So why not come May 21, when it’s free?”

May Day takes place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 21 at The Maritime Museum of Sandusky, 125 Meigs St., Sandusky. For more info call 419-624-0274 or visit sanduskymaritime.org.

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