Local attractions will be as busy as ever this weekend as they host Doors Open Jamestown.
This will be the ninth year for the annual event, during which local tourist destinations open their doors to the public for free.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday,the James Prendergast Library; Infinity Visual & Performing Arts; Lucille Ball Little Theatre; Jamestown Gateway Train Station; the Busti Grist Mill; the Jamestown Audubon Center & Sanctuary; the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History; the Robert H. Jackson Center; The Fenton History Center; the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Center for Comedy; the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts; the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena; the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame; and the Lucile M. Wright Air Museum will all be open to visitors for free.
People are pictured looking at the Christmas decorations at the Fenton History Center, 67 Washington St., Jamestown. The decorations will be on display for the last time this year during Doors Open Jamestown. Doors Open Jamestown will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is a day when people can visit 14 local attractions for free.
Each organization will be holding a drawing for a basket that includes a $25 Shoptauqua gift certificate, a $10 coupon for LaScala's Restaurant and items unique to each organization. Sponsors for the event are the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce Committee and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.
In addition to the attractions, restaurants and cafes will be featuring Doors Open Jamestown specials. Local restaurants taking part in the event are Mariner's Pier, Babalu Cafe, Labyrinth Press Co., Brazil, Sully's Pub, Forte, Cherry Lounge, Shawbucks Press Room, Boomerang, LaScala's Restaurant, Cibo, and Lisciandro's.
Doors Open Jamestown started in 2006 and is based on an international event where communities promote attractions located in their hometown. The goal of the event is to introduce local attractions to residents so they can be ambassadors for their hometown.
Joni Blackman, Fenton History Center director, said the Fenton mansion hosted 500 people last year and 600 the year before during Doors Open Jamestown. She said during a normal winter weekend, the museum might get 20 visitors.
"It is great to see the people. You have grandparents telling children about things that happened in their lifetime. There are items in the museum that trigger their memories. Then it goes the other direction. We have fourth graders that have been in classes here teaching their families everything they learned while they were here," she said. "It is always nice to see repeat customers too. There are some groups of folks who get together each year to do this. They make the rounds to the places they want to visit."
Blackman said the holiday ''Signs of the Season'' exhibit will be open for the last day during Doors Open Jamestown. The exhibit is the Fenton museum decorated for the Christmas season. There will also be basket raffles where people can win wine, coffee, chocolate and other items related to the Fenton. The museum will be selling a new book, ''The History of the Jamestown Furniture Industry: History in Wood.'' The book was written by a Fenton trustee, Clarence Carlson, and features furniture built in Jamestown between 1816 and 1920.
Blackman said she believes the event does help local organizations attract more visitors.
"The fact that 500 people come through the door, and if they learn one thing, that is a success for us," she said.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, 311 Curtis St., Jamestown, will feature national wildlife artist Bob Hines. Tina Scherman, visitors services, said Hines was known for his art work in guides to identify animals. He was also important in designing the federal duck stamp.
"We usually see 100 or more people for this," Scherman said about Doors Open Jamestown.
Sherman also believes the event leads to more visitors during the year.
"Usually what happens is they bring friends and relatives to see the exhibits when they come back," she said.
The Robert H. Jackson Center, 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown, will have its permanent ''Perpetrators'' exhibit on display Saturday. Perpetrators is a collection of starkly rendered portraits and biographical text depicting the defendants from the Nuremberg trial. There will also be the Jackson timeline, and an exhibit of photographs by Ray D'Addario, one of the official photographers at Nuremberg, said Kathy Tucker, operations manager.
"We will also be giving tours of the mansion," she said. "Then we will have a raffle here too."
Tucker said the museum hosted about 250 people last year during the event. During a normal winter weekend, she said the museum might host between 10 to 15 people.
"We love it because we have so many people come with their families and kids," she said. "We like to get the children excited, from elementary school to high school students. It is a nice way for people to get to know us."
For more information about restaurant specials, raffle prizes and particulars about each organization, visit Doors Open Jamestown Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/pages/Doors-Open-Jamestown/187059078099475.