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Lynn Meadows Discovery Center will host Smithsonian traveling exhibit

All athletes relish the elation of achieving victory in a big game, performing at their best and being part of a championship team. The Gulf Coast Cardinals celebrate a victory, Lake Jackson, Texas, 2009.
All athletes relish the elation of achieving victory in a big game, performing at their best and being part of a championship team. The Gulf Coast Cardinals celebrate a victory, Lake Jackson, Texas, 2009. LMDC

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, 246 Dolan Ave., Gulfport will host a Smithsonian Institutioin traveling exhibit titled “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” from Aug. 13 through Sept. 24, highlighting the nation’s love of sports.

The exhibit will showcase “how sports has shaped our culture and communities in America,” said Penny Patterson, Lynn Meadows director of development. “The exhibit is bringing the Smithsonian to small-town America.”

Whether your sport is hockey, soccer, football or baseball, the exhibit, which will fill an entire pavilion inside LMDC, promises to evoke feelings of nostalgia and joy by showcasing American teams through artifacts, video, images and audio. There will be many hands-on components, and LMDC will add its own section to the exhibit to honor the Mississippi Coast’s sports teams and heroes.

There is no extra fee to see the exhibit other than LMDC’s entry fee: children ages 0 to 12 months admitted free; children and adults $10; military and seniors 65-plus $8; weekdays after 3 p.m. $3; and Sundays $6; admission is free the last Friday of August, 5 to 8 p.m.

The exhibit will kick off at 11 a.m. Aug. 13 with a pep rally that will feature activities for everyone, and throughout the exhibit’s run, there will be opportunities to meet football legends as well as the Biloxi Shuckers. The closing event Sept. 24 will be a hockey shootout with former pro hockey player Brandon Elliott.

‘Hometown Teams’ Schedule of events

Aug. 13: Pep rally grand opening 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Kick off the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” with a pep rally led by Gulfport High School marching band and a tailgate barbecue to celebrate our hometown teams.

Aug. 18: Chamber After 5, 5-7 p.m. Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Inc. Members and guests only

Aug. 20: Meet football legends John Bond and Reggie Collier at 1 p.m. with a film screening of “Mississippi Grid Iron Gold: Small Towns, Big Football” in the LMDC theater.

Aug. 26: Meet and greet with Biloxi Shuckers, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Meet Tim Bennett, co-owner of the Biloxi Shuckers, as well as players and coaches

Aug. 27: Meet and greet with Barry Lyons, 10 a.m.–noon. Meet former major league catcher Barry Lyons followed by a special performance of “Casey at the Bat” by the WINGS Performing Arts group at noon on the deck.

Aug. 28: WINGS Performing Arts group performs “Casey at the Bat” on the deck at 2 p.m.

Aug. 30: In the Viking Kitchen at 6 p.m., tailgating expert Rebecca Kajdan will share secrets for having the perfect tailgate menu. $35 per person

Sept. 10: “African Americans in Sports from Mississippi” with Charles K. Ross 12:30 p.m. Ross is the associate professor of history and director of African American Studies at Ole Miss

Sept. 17: 10 a.m.-noon, baseball techniques with D’Iberville baseball team

Sept. 22: LMDC members only viewing, 5-7 p.m.

Sept. 24: Hockey shootout, 10 a.m.-noon. Join former pro hockey player Brandon Elliott for a hockey shootout.

All events are included with museum admission, except for the tailgate cooking class.

For more details on special events, visit www.lmdc.org. All speakers and events subject to change.

‘Hometown Teams’ has been made possible at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center by the Mississippi Humanities Council. ‘Hometown Teams’ is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

— LMDC

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