|One of this past Saturday's visitors enjoys the Free Play area|
The night before the LEGO Shipbuilding Event, I laid in bed unable to sleep. The anticipation. The excitement. The preparation and set up. To be honest, I could hear my heart beating out of my chest as the doors to the museum opened. After what seemed like months of preparation, the day was here. When the time came, I was more than pleasantly surprised. In my six years working at the museum, I have never seen a single day event so well-attended as on this past Saturday.
And what a Saturday it was. Nearly 1,500 people came out to view or participate in the event. This nearly doubles the number we had at the inaugural Lego shipbuilding event last year. Drawing in crowds from across Virginia and beyond, the event went off without a hitch.
It was a special pleasure to talk to several individuals and families who came out for the second time. One contestant, Nathan, came to several HRNM-related events this past year. He ended up winning second place in his age category. Congratulations, Nathan! Nathan is pictured with his ship below.
|2nd place, Age 8-12 group, Nathan, with his ship, "DragonFly"|
We are always more than welcome to take your suggestions for next year's event. It is never too late to start planning!
We would also like to thank all of the volunteers who helped out, including active duty sailors and one very helpful gentlemen from our friends at the Naval Historical Foundation. The MacArthur Memorial graciously provided chairs and tables for the event. There is no way we could have done this without them! Bricks 4 Kidz also provided some great Lego activities for the visitors, and we truly appreciate their time spent working with our program.
Staff at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum look forward to next year's event. We sincerely hope that everybody who came out this year will also attend next year's event. I can promise that it will be bigger and better! With your help and support, we can continue to bring quality and family-fun educational programming to the Hampton Roads community and beyond. It will be held the first Saturday in February 2014. While you are at it, make sure to head on over to the HRNM Facebook page (and "Like" us if you haven't already) and vote for what you want to see for next year's ships. We will also be offering LEGO Shipbuilding as a FREE educational program for school systems in the area. If you liked the event, you will love working with LEGOs at school!
Make sure to check the Hampton Roads Naval Museum Facebook page to see the full set of pictures from the event.
Many thanks (and LEGOs),
Matthew Eng (and the entire HRNM Staff)
For a listing of our current 2013 Calendar of Events, go HERE.
For a full recap of news media on the event:
Daily Press (original article): HERE.
Los Angeles Times: HERE.
Naval Historical Foundation Blog: HERE.