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New exhibit to showcase U.S. states

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Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Curator of Exhibits Steve Armstrong puts together a corn maze exhibit Monday as he sets up the new Trivial Pursuit Exhibit at the Children's Museum at the Imperial Centre.

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By Brie Handgraaf
Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A trip around the country this summer won’t require plane, train or automobile rides covering thousands of miles.

Trivial Pursuit, A 50-State Adventure! will take visitors across the United States without leaving downtown Rocky Mount.

“This is an opportunity for people in our community that may not be able to travel to still learn about all of our states and see something fun from each place,” said Imperial Centre Recreation Services Supervisor Sheila Long. “There are a lot of people who don’t have the opportunity to travel to see Fenway Park or the St. Louis Arch or the Grand Canyon.”

The new exhibit opens Saturday with free admittance to the Children’s Museum and Science Centre in the Imperial Centre. Trivial Pursuit focuses on students in kindergarten to fifth grade but also has features for younger and older audiences. The exhibit was created in collaboration with Hasbro Inc. to enlighten audiences about the geography, history and culture of the country’s 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“Exhibit activities feature favorite American travel, sports and leisure pastimes, music from across the nation and fun and important information about well-known people, places and historical events,” according to a press release from the city. “Children will pretend to power a riverboat down the Mississippi, hit a home run at Fenway Park, build the Saint Louis Gateway Arch, ride a mule into the Grand Canyon, snorkel in Hawaii, enjoy winter fun in Wisconsin and so much more.”

The 2,200-square-foot exhibit includes hands-on activities and touch-screen trivia game kiosks.

“I love trivia and facts, so I’m really looking forward to the challenge of those game kiosks,” said museum Curator Leigh White. “The trivia challenges are for all ages to enjoy, so families can have a friendly competition.”

In addition to entertaining crowds following the holiday opening of the exhibit, the Imperial Centre will have a free grand opening event that kicks off at 6 p.m. June 17. Residents are encouraged to come out to explore the Trivial Pursuit exhibit, new exhibits in the Maria V. Howard Arts Center, a return of the popular No Shame — an open mic opportunity for singers, poets, actors and others — as well as live music, activities for all ages and a celebration of 10 years since the Imperial Centre opened. The night will cap off with a showing of Tomorrowland in the courtyard around 8:30 p.m.

Long said she is eager to see the reception of Trivial Pursuit after the success of Design Zone, which demonstrated how math and science were utilized in daily life. Officials recently changed from one main exhibit in the museum a year to shorter stents of more exhibits.

“It gives people more opportunities to come back throughout the year,” White said. “They can come back again and again, learning something new every time.”

Trivial Pursuit will run through Sept. 18 when it will be replaced with The Attack of the Bloodsuckers traveling exhibit.

“The Trivial Pursuit exhibit is particularly neat because the 50 states are so diverse,” Long said. “With something unique from each state, there is going to be something for everybody.”

For more information on the Imperial Centre, go to http://www.imperialcentre.org/. To learn about events at the centre and in downtown, go to http://www.downtownrockymount.com/.

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