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City museums to celebrate 150 years with birthday party Oct. 14

SPRINGFIELD The Springfield Museums will celebrate their 150th anniversary with a "Big Birthday Bash" on Sunday, October 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. The event will feature free family entertainment and birthday cake. Weekend Family Fun programs are sponsored by T.D. Banknorth.

The party will kick off with a cake-cutting ceremony and free cake for everyone at 1 p.m., followed by outdoor family fun until 3 p.m. on the Quadrangle green (indoors in case of rain):

Walk-around magic show and balloon sculpture by magician Jonas Toutant.

Face painting by Barbara Arpante.

Clown antics, balloon art, and glitter tattoos by "Chit-Chat" the clown and her assistant.

Appearances by the Cat in the Hat and other costumed characters.

1:45, 2:30, and 3:15 p.m. - Preview tours of the new Museum of Springfield History with Museum Director Guy McLain.

The Springfield Museums were founded in 1857 with a small collection of "curiosities" that were housed in a room in the old City Hall. As the collections grew, the four separate museum buildings were constructed around the Quadrangle, beginning with the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum in 1896 and followed by the Springfield Science Museum in 1899, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum in 1927, and the Museum of Fine Arts in 1933.

The Springfield Museums are located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street off Chestnut Street in downtown Springfield. Free parking is available in the Edwards Street parking lots. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Science Museum open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.). Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and college students, $5 for children 3-17, and free for children under three and museum members. Springfield residents are free with proof of residency. The fee provides admission to all four Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.

For information, call 263-6800 or visit