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Updated Friday, December 28, 2012 at 09:01 PM

Join the party as revamped MOHAI reopens

By Michael Upchurch
Seattle Times arts writer

Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) officially comes out of hiding this weekend, after decades of being tucked away on an obscure side street in the Montlake neighborhood.

MOHAI now has pride of place on the south shore of Lake Union in the splendidly refurbished Naval Reserve Armory. It reopens Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., and stays open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday (when there’s free admission) and Sunday (paid admission).

Event highlights on Saturday include hourly performances from noon to 7 p.m. by poet Henry Luke, the Chief Sealth Marching Band, opera singer Sarah Fletcher and others. There will also be Salish-weaving demonstrations and printmaking lessons. A build-your-own-periscope project, organized by the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, may well be faster than waiting a turn to use the periscope on the top floor of the museum with its 360-degree view of Lake Union and downtown Seattle.

Between the museum’s new Compass Cafe and the food trucks in nearby Lake Union Park, there should be plenty to eat. On Lake Union itself, Seattle Flying Dragons will stage dragon-boat races, the vintage tugboat Arthur Foss will be open for tours, and boat rides will be offered by the Center for Wooden Boats, Waterway Cruises and the Virginia V.

Argosy Cruises’ largest ship, The Royal Argosy, will be docked near the museum and offer entertainment, beverages and food.

MOHAI’s regular hours (10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays) begin on Monday. The museum is open on the first of the year for a New Year’s Family Day, featuring special appearances by Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog. As always, there’s a lot at MOHAI for kids to check out.

Free First Thursdays commence next week with some beer-themed hoopla celebrating the recent restoration of the Rainier “R” sign (official ceremony at 7 p.m.).

Along with the permanent exhibits, two temporary exhibits are in place: “Punctum/Poetry” (through May 27), in which high-school students record their thoughts on MOHAI’s photographic archives, and “Celluloid Seattle: A City at the Movies” (through Sept. 8), curated by film critic Robert Horton. (Next week’s Free First Thursday will feature some “make-your-own movie” activities.)

Reservations for opening day are fast filling up. Go to www.mohai.org or call 206-324-1126 to book a time slot.

Michael Upchurch: mupchurch@seattletimes.com

IF YOU GO

Museum of History & Industry

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays, 860 Terry Ave., Seattle; $12-$14, children 14 and younger free with chaperone, free admission on first Thursdays (206-324-1126 or www.mohai.org).


The Seattle Times
A new MOHAI display includes Seattle icons such as the dancing Rainier beer bottles, Ivar's clams and a model of the ferry Kalakala.




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