For as long as she can remember, a visit to the museum stirred Simone Belz’s imagination.
“They are places of experience and dialogue,” said Belz, director of the Frisco Historic Park and Museum.
A good exhibit can engage all of your senses, she said. “When you have those experiences interacting with an exhibit, you actually learn something and it becomes memorable for you on many levels.”
The museum manager turned a childhood passion into a career, and she wants to share her enthusiasm for Frisco’s and Summit County’s history with the rest of the community.
“Night at the Museum” invites residents and visitors alike to explore the 12 historic buildings and displays that make up the historic park. The event takes place today from 5-8 p.m. at 120 Main St.
“We encourage people to take a little Friday evening stroll in the park, enjoy some light refreshments and local music and just mingle with others in the community,” Belz said.
Event organizers said it’s a good chance for people who can’t visit the museum during its regular hours of operation to see what it has to offer.
Town of Frisco communications director Suzanne Lifgren said there’s something special about viewing the museum grounds after-hours. “There is an air of mystery and intrigue that comes from viewing it at night,” she said.
Tomorrow’s event is part of the museum’s 30th anniversary celebrations. Museum organizers have ramped up their programs for the occasion. The open house is also a way to celebrate National Preservation Month, which takes place in May every year and is sponsored by the National Park Service.
“It gives people an opportunity to come to something cultural and educational — but also social,” said Belz. “People are happy and there’s a positive energy in the room.”
Museum visitors can learn about local Native American and pioneering histories, Summit County’s mining past and chronicles of the railroad industry.
Lifgren said she values the museum because it gives locals a common bond.
“Being able to use the past and learn from our founding fathers brings our community tighter together,” she said.
In addition to tomorrow’s event, museum organizers are ramping up for the “Pistols and Pearls Preservation Party” from 5-9 p.m. on May 31.
The indoor-outdoor event takes place at the museum and features food samples along with wine, whiskey and a taste of the history that shaped Frisco’s character.
A lunchtime lecture series will begin next month at the museum. Topics will include “A saloon turned schoolhouse,” “Getting blasted by candlelight” and “Gold rush saints and sinners.”
An event that’s similar to Frisco’s Night at the Museum will be held at the Dillon Schoolhouse Museum on May 24.