A number of businesses and attractions around downtown Jamestown are gearing up for the eighth annual Doors Open Jamestown. The event, which is held in order to bring more people into the downtown area and give residents a chance to experience the local attractions, has seen a fair amount of success in previous years.
The Jamestown Committee of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will be presenting Doors Open Jamestown on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. The Fenton History Center, Jamestown Audubon Society and Nature Center, the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, the Robert H. Jackson Center, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the Reg Lenna Civic Center and the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame will all be open for free tours and other offers. The James Prendergast Library, Infinity Visual and Performing Arts and the Lucile Wright Aviation Museum will also be participating in the event this year, and the newly restored Erie-Lackawanna Train Station will be open to the public as well. Drawings will be held at the attraction venues for $50 Shoptauqua certificates along with an item from the site. The museums will be offering discounts in their gift shops, as well. Doors Open is an international event that focuses on encouraging local residents to take advantage of their area attractions.
Downtown restaurants will also be open with specials during Doors Open Jamestown 2013. Participating restaurants include The Babalu Cafe, The Cherry Lounge, Cibo, Labyrinth Press Compnay, Lisciandro's, Roberto's, Sully's and The Pub.
Approximately 2,100 residents and visitors took part in the event last January.
"If even half of them buy breakfast, lunch or dinner downtown it will be a great day for the local economy." says Joni Blackman, director of the Fenton History Center.
The Audubon Center and Sanctuary, located at 1600 Riverside Road will be open to the public and feature exhibits covering local wild amphibians, snakes and fish and animals. Visitors will be able to participate on nature walks at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as a class on beekeeping basics from 10 a.m. to noon. This class, taught by beekeeper Dennis Lamonica, will go through the equipment needed to start up a beekeeping operation. It will also go into an overview of honeybees and the care they need. This program will lead into a beekeeping series that will be offered in the spring at the Audubon Center.
The Reg Lenna Civic Center will be showcasing a fully restored 1878 Buffalo Bill Cody Billboard for visitors to see. The billboard is the oldest known billboard in the country. Mini tours of the facility will be offered as well. The center is located on East Third Street and will be open from noon to 5 p.m..
The Robert H. Jackson Center will feature multiple rooms styled by local florists. Refreshments will be served and visitors are welcome to take self-guided tours of mansion. The mansion also houses exhibit spaces, archives, a 200-seat theater, bookstore and banquet facilities. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the original exhibit, "A Hometown During War: 1941-1945." The exhibit features material collected from the local community and documents the "home front" through personal stories, letters, images and ephemera. Other exhibits that that are housed at the Jackson Center include "Jackson & Jamestown: 1909-1934," which chronicles Jackson's life in Jamestown and Chautauqua County, "Perpetrators," a collection of starkly rendered portraits and biographical text depicting the defendants from the Nuremberg trial, a Jackson "timeline" and an exhibit of photographs by Ray D'Addario, one of the official photographers at Nuremberg. The Jackson Center is located at 305 E. 4th St. in Jamestown.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, located at 311 Curtis Street in Jamestown, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the event. Although the galleries will only be partially filled due to a scheduled exhibit changeover, visitors will be able to view items from the Roger Tory Peterson Collection in the Breckenridge Room, as well as the Randolph Mammoth, a 13,000-year-old Columbian Mammoth fossil discovered in 1934 in Randolph. There will also be a natural history used book sale in the gift shop.
The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, at the corner of Lafayette and Third streets in downtown Jamestown, will have a free public skate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event will be free for all ages and skate rentals are included. Sully's Irish Pub will have lunch specials available throughout the day, as well. The arena's Opti-Golf indoor golf simulator will also be open and available for guests to play three holes for free, with right-handed clubs available for trial rounds.
The Fenton History Center, located on Washington Street just south of the Washington Street Bridge, will be featuring their 33rd annual holiday exhibit for the eighth annual Doors Open Jamestown. The exhibit highlights the evolution of the Santa figure but visitors will also have the chance to see the traditional festive exhibits. The four floors of the Mansion are filled with decorated trees and nostalgic settings that show the traditions and celebrations that made Jamestown the way it is today. A raffle will be held for a huck woven afghan and "Jamestown: A Historic Postcard Series" book by local authors Karen Livsey and Dorothy Levin.
The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy will be offering a variety of one-day-only sales, prizes, and tours for Doors Open Jamestown 2013. All museum visitors will automatically be entered into a raffle for a pair of tickets to the top headliner at The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which is scheduled to be held Aug. 1-4. Additionally, special guided tours from "I Love Lucy" experts will be provided free of charge at the top of every hour during the day. Jan. 19 is also the 60th anniversary of the highest Nielsen share in American television history, when "Lucy Goes to the Hospital" aired in 1953. Visitors will have the opportunity to see a screening of the episode during the event.
The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, located at 15 W. Third St., features local stories covering baseball, football, motor sports, marksmanship, boxing and more. The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame will have tickets to the 2013 CSHOF Induction Banquet for sale during the day. The price per ticket is $50 and members will receive a $5 discount.
The James Prendergast Library will also be taking part in Doors Open Jamestown, offering the public a chance to celebrate 50 years with Amelia Bedelia. The library will be hosting a birthday bash with cake, crafts, and more from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.. Tours of the building showcasing library resources will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. From 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., librarians and teen volunteers will be teaming up to teach "Tech Gadget Guidance," where patrons can learn about using eReaders and tablets, as well as how to download eBooks from the library.
Blackman strongly encourages area residents to visit downtown Jamestown during the Doors Open event.
"Take a few minutes out of your weekend and stop into one of the many museums and attractions you have always been curious about," said Blackman. "Take in a meal at one of the participating restaurants or shop in one of the downtown stores- you will be happy you did."
For more information phone any of the participating locations or visit Doors Open on Facebook.