June 06--RED WING -- A strong response to the inaugural Red Wing Museum Crawlover the weekend has organizers hopeful that the free event will be held annually.
Hundreds of people flocked to six museum sites to examine a wide variety of historical memorabilia. More than 300 were in attendance Sunday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Red Wing Marine Museum, which was finally opened by Mike Wilson after more than four years of planning and fundraising.
The other five sites were: Red Wing Pottery Museum,Goodhue County Historical Society, American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum, Red Wing Shoe Company Museum and the Aliveo Military Museum, which contains uniforms and other artifacts from wars dating back to World War I.
"Everybody who has come has said it's just a great idea," Red Wing Pottery Museum Manager Robin Wipperling said of the crawl. "It's been positive, and we want to do this again, obviously. It really brings an awareness to all the historical aspects of Red Wing."
"If someone comes to town, they can spend all day just looking at our museums," Wilson said. "As far as a lot of local people, it was a good opportunity to take a look around at things they might not have even known about before."
The new Pottery Museum is weeks away from opening at its new 13,000 square foot home, but it allowed visitors in during the Museum Crawl. One of the biggest draws to that venue will be "Paul Bunyan's jug," but the weekend's festivities were highlighted by the work of renowned Red Wing photographer Phil Revoir.
Original and replicas of Revoir's work were displayed Sunday at the Pottery Museum and available for purchase. In addition, Museum Crawl attendees who visited all six venues, thereby obtaining a "passport stamp," were eligible to win some of Revoir's photographs.
Revoir, who attended the Museum Crawl, has donated his life's work to the Goodhue County Historical Society. And for the crawl, he donated many photographs to be sold as a fundraiser for the museums.
About 25 percent of the available work sold during the weekend, Wipperling said Tuesday, but total proceeds have yet to be determined. That money will be split evenly between the six museums that took part in the crawl.
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