Bristol Press – Carousel Museum benefits from increased visitor numbers this summer thanks to state program

BRISTOL – One of the city’s hidden gems is seeing plenty of new faces this summer, thanks to a statewide initiative.

The Connecticut Office of Tourism’s Summer at the Museum program has drawn an influx of new and returning visitors to the New England Carousel Museum at 95 Riverside Ave.

Children and one accompanying adult enjoy free admission from July 1 through September 5 to hundreds of participating museums across the state.

This is the second summer of the program.

“Last year a lot of people took advantage of it and this year it’s already taking off in the same way,” Morgan Urgo, executive director of the Carousel Museum, told reporters on Sunday. “This benefits struggling facilities and CT residents at the same time,” she added. “It’s brilliant.”

The museum parking lot was almost full over the weekend, despite the good weather both days.

In addition to galleries starting open and special events on weekends, there are drop-in arts activities for kids Wednesday through Friday. and Lego challenges on Fridays.

Last Thursday, the museum welcomed more than 250 visitors, according to Urgo.

“I would say about 75% of our summer visits are related to this program,” she said. “If we had the funding to be free all the time, we would.”

A grant from the Main Street Community Foundation also allows staff to provide all art supplies to families free of charge.

“It’s great to be able to share the museum with people from Connecticut and also people from Bristol who have never been here before,” Urgo said.

Other participating organizations in Bristol include the American Clock & Watch Museum, the Bristol Historical Society, Imagine Nation and the Memorial Military Museum. A full list of all attendees is available at

CT Summer at the Museum is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the CT Department of Economic and Community Development in partnership with CT Humanities.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at [email protected]

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News on Sunday, July 17, 2022 4:26 PM. Updated: Sunday, July 17, 2022 4:28 p.m.

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