PETERSBURG, Ky. -- As the Creation Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary this Memorial Day weekend, its founders say record crowds have been visiting the museum and its sister attraction, Ark Encounter in Williamstown.
Ken Ham, president/CEO of Answers in Genesis, said museum attendance over the past several months has doubled over last year's totals, meaning altogether more than 3 million people have visited the Creation Museum since its opening in 2007.
Ark Encounter opened in July 2016, and Ham told The Washington Post it is on track to top 1 million visitors by its first anniversary. On some Saturdays this spring, 5,000 people have toured the 510-foot-long replica of the Biblical Noah's ark. Many of these visitors come from outside Greater Cincinnati.
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“When I give lectures in the museum’s large lecture hall, I ask for a show of hands of guests who traveled here from outside our Tri-State area of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana," Ham said in a news release. "About 95 percent of the hands go up. Also, we have several visitors from other countries each day."
To mark the Creation Museum's 10th anniversary, two new exhibits will open on Sunday at no additional charge to ticketholders.
One exhibit goes into more teaching about the last three Cs of the museum’s “Seven Cs of History” theme: Christ, Cross and Consummation. The first Cs are Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, and Confusion.
The second new exhibit is a temporary one installed by the Museum of the Bible, which opens in Washington, D.C. in November. The display’s theme is “Dragon Slayers” and features precious illuminated manuscripts that deal with three well-known characters outside the Bible, such as St. George, who slayed dragons. Textual references to dragons found in the Bible are incorporated into the exhibit.
The Washington Post reports Ham and his partners, Mike Zovath and Mark Looy, have launched a decade-long plan to expand Ark Encounter in Disneyland-like fashion, re-creating a walled city from Noah's time, a first-century village from the time of Jesus, a Tower of Babel, concept snack shacks, a 3,200-seat amphitheater and a 10-plagues-of-Egypt thrill ride.
Zovath told The Washington Post that he hopes the park becomes “something on people’s checklist when they’re traveling, like seeing the biggest ball of twine ... That gives us an opportunity for people who might never go to church to see something that is mind-blowing and get some information that could change their lives for the better and point them in the direction for a secure eternity.”