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Contact:
Jennifer Aniskovich
Executive Director
Connecticut Commission
on Culture & Tourism
(860) 256-2800
Joanne Morrison
Director of Public Relations
McLaughlin, DelVecchio & Casey
(203) 624-4151 x30

MORE THAN 100 CULTURAL AND TOURISM PROPERTIES TO PARTICIPATE IN FIRST-EVER STATEWIDE CONNECTICUT OPEN HOUSE DAY
Special Event Offers Opportunity for Residents To Explore State's Exceptional Cultural and Tourism Assets

HARTFORD, Conn. (June 2, 2005) - On Saturday, June 11, 2005, more than 100 cultural and tourism properties including museums, art galleries, historic properties, theaters, farms, vineyards, nature centers and many other interesting attractions throughout Connecticut will open their doors to state residents as part of a unique one-day event: Connecticut Open House Day. Participating sites will offer free or discounted admission and other special incentives just for Connecticut residents. Special Connecticut Open House Day offerings vary by property. For more information, go to www.CTvisit.com or call 888-CTvisit.

On June 11 Connecticut's citizens can celebrate everything that is uniquely Connecticut by discovering - and rediscovering - the many cultural and tourism riches our state has to offer. Connecticut Open House Day also marks the launch of the Ambassador Program, a new state initiative designed to instill pride in residents and encourage them to proudly share our state's treasures with visiting family and friends. On Connecticut Open House Day, visitors can sign up to become a Connecticut Ambassador at participating sites. They will receive a special "Ambassador Kit" to learn how to become advocates of all that is quintessentially Connecticut and be well-informed "tour guides" for their visiting guests. Travel research indicates that approximately 40 percent of Connecticut tourists come to the state to see family and friends.

In addition, visitors can pick up their summer vacation information, including the 2005 Vacation Guide and Connecticut Culture Guide, at participating properties, which will be set up as designated tourist information centers on June 11.

"Connecticut Open House Day can help us develop a broader awareness of our state's assets and inspire us to support them and cultivate their future growth and prosperity," said Jennifer Aniskovich, Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism.

Connecticut Open House Day signifies the first time properties across the state will open their doors to residents in a unified celebration. "Connecticut has an abundance of world-class art, historic structures and diverse cultural and tourism attractions," said Aniskovich. "Connecticut Open House Day is the perfect opportunity for residents to connect with our state and reacquaint themselves with these treasures. I encourage folks to explore these wonderful venues located in their own towns or venture to a new area of the state to rediscover Connecticut on this special resident enrichment day."

Venues participating in Connecticut Open House Day include:

Nathan Hale Homestead - Coventry
Free admission all day. It is the state's hero, Nathan Hale's 250th birthday. Events feature a parade, hands-on activities for children, live animals, Colonial craft demonstrations, performance by "The Reel Thing" Colonial Dance Troup, landscape walks, house tours, and a historical play. Food available and picnickers welcome.

Mark Twain House & Museum - Hartford
Free admission all day to the Museum Center, which includes the current exhibition, "Markson Paper," about Mark Twain's personal library; film by Ken Burns; orientation exhibit (Admission applies for a tour of the Twain House).

Creative Arts Workshop - New Haven
Special activities throughout the day as part of the "Audubon Art on the Edge" street festival, including craft show from 3 - 8 p.m., chalk drawing, music, coordinated gallery opening for "Cultural Passages" exhibition from 5 - 8 p.m., dancing, movie at 9 p.m.

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride - Essex
Children ride free all day.

Little Theatre of Manchester - Manchester
Family fun with crafts, ethnic food, local entertainment, bus tours of historic sites, horse-drawn carriage rides.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center - Stamford
Free gift for all visitors and special programming Down on the Farm from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House Museum - Lebanon
Free admission from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. "Under the Spreading Ginkgo Tree," a complimentary Colonial tea party, on the lawn under the Ginkgo tree.

Palace Theater - Waterbury
Free admission from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. with complimentary coffee and free guided tours of the facility. At 1 p.m., the Palace Theater and Waterbury Arts and Tourism Commission sponsor the family film, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." Free admission for the first 100 guests. Ticket cost is $1.

Holcomb Farm Learning Center - West Granby
Offering a Native American Circle from 3 - 4 p.m. Hear traditional Native American teachings based around the spirit of giving and the connection of humans with their environment. Open for hiking and picnicking.

Several communities, including Lebanon, Wethersfield and UCONN at Storrs, have a host of participating properties and activities that make them an ideal destination for a day outing. For a complete listing of participating properties and their specific offers, visit www.CTvisit.com and click on the icon for Connecticut Open House Day; or call 888-CTvisit.

The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism brings together tourism, film, history and the arts. Its mission is to preserve and promote Connecticut's cultural and tourism assets in order to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of the state. The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism is located at One Financial Plaza, 755 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut, 06103.

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