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The world’s only maritime museum dedicated to the historical, cultural and economic significance of the Gulf of Mexico opens in Mobile September 26. Located on the Mobile Riverfront, this hands-on museum is one of the only interactive maritime museums in the United States.

The grand opening will begin with a “Tossing off the Bowlines” ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Members from the Pensacola Naval Air Station will be on hand for the Presentation of Colors and to perform the National Anthem. The Very Rev. Beverly Findley Gibson, Ph.D., Rector and Dean, Christ Church Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, will give the invocation. E.B. Peebles, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico, will deliver brief comments. Special guests will officially “toss the lines” in celebration of the GulfQuest opening. The public is invited.

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The museum will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular GulfQuest operating hours are Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and, Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

With 90 museum exhibits, a museum store, a museum café and event space, GulfQuest is a 120,000 building designed to look as if it were a ship headed into Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to being a “Signature Attraction” for the Gulf Coast, GulfQuest will become a major educational attraction for Mobile and the state of Alabama.

“Beyond its focus on the Gulf of Mexico, GulfQuest is unique among maritime museums in that it features interactive exhibits, simulators and theaters, complemented by artifacts and memorabilia,” Tony Zodrow, GulfQuest executive director said. “We have taken extra measures, every step of the way, to design an immersive experience for our visitors. The exhibits are both entertaining and educational, and will truly encourage visitors to explore every maritime aspect of the Gulf of Mexico.”

In addition, GulfQuest will offer a wide range of traveling exhibitions, plus programs on weekends, holidays and summers. School field trips and weekend camp-ins will also become regular fixtures in the museum experience, with classroom programs that follow the state standards for science, math, social studies and the language arts.

“If I had to use one word to describe the experience of a GulfQuest visit, it would be ‘immersive,” Zodrow said. “Like any fine museum, GulfQuest will be very educational. But it will also provide hours and hours of immersive activities. We think people from all over the country will understand just why the Gulf of Mexico is truly ‘America’s Sea’.”

Learn more at www.gulfquest.org

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