Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

August 31, 2012

Lego exhibit builds audience at History Center

'Lego Carnival’ attracts more than 20,000 visitors, closes on Saturday

TRAVERSE CITY — It only seems appropriate to use 20,000 Legos to construct a castle during the final weekend of an exhibit featuring classic building block toys.

The "Lego Carnival: Building Blocks of Traverse City" exhibit at the History Center of Traverse City has attracted more than 20,000 visitors since opening in March. The exhibit will close Saturday, Sept. 1.

"We originally wanted to provide something for the community during spring break and here we are, six months later," said Bill Kennis, executive director of the History Center of Traverse City.

Kennis said the exhibit has been so popular that the History Center intends to make it an annual event.

"The response has absolutely exceeded our expectations, many fold," he said.

To celebrate the success of the center's Lego exhibit, Kennis invited Lego master builder, Dan Parker of Seattle, to make a return visit. Parker will take on the task of building the finale structure.

Parker is one of 13 Lego-certified professionals in the world. He assisted local children who built representations of local landmarks when he visited in May.

This time he will welcome local Lego artists to assist in building a 3-by-3 foot square castle. He will also use more than 4,000 Lego bricks to build a cartoon version of the center's Magical History Tour Bus.

The exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Saturday.

This is the final opportunity for visitors to enjoy hundreds of unique creations and interactive displays including multiple building stations and an 18-foot elevated track that runs into a Lego wall for testing vehicle crash worthiness. More than 600 jumbo bricks can be used to build forts, boats and even life-sized robots.

Admission cost $5 for everyone age 5 and older.

The History Center of Traverse City is at 322 Sixth St. For more information, call 995-0313.

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