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Museum exhibit blends 'Star Wars,' science

An exhibit featuring artifacts such as costumes and props from the Star Wars movie franchise, as well as real-life items such as robots and NASA equipment, will make its only Louisiana stop at the Lafayette Science Museum from Oct. 21 to Jan. 17.

Originally developed at the Museum of Science in Boston, "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" also features a special Millennium Falcon section as part of the exhibit.

"The whole premise of this was to educate people," said Peter Garland, manager of temporary exhibits at the Boston museum. "We want to show what's realistic and what's not realistic and where we are regarding the latest technology. Hopefully through the exhibit, people can get a better understanding of that."

Several Acadiana McDonald's locations will include Star Wars toys in Happy Meals, and the exhibit events will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 with a Star Music concert by the Lafayette Concert Band at UL's Angelle Hall. On Oct. 16, Movies in the Parc will feature Star Wars: The Clone Wars at dusk, and a special VIP preview event is scheduled for Oct. 20 before the exhibit opens to the public.

"This is what Lafayette is all about," City-Parish President Joey Durel said. "I've often said that I feel we have a responsibility to all of Acadiana to provide culture and entertainment that they might not be able to find elsewhere. This is something that people otherwise might have to go to Houston or New Orleans to see."

Lafayette officials are hoping the exhibt will mean a boost in tourism dollars this winter as well.

Gerald Breaux, executive director of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, said not only will Lafayette have the only Louisiana showing, but that the exhibit also will not appear in Texas, Mississippi or Arkansas.

"This gives us a whole new reason to promote what we're doing here," Breaux said, adding that the local restaurant and lodging associations are partnering to provide packages and other arrangements for visitors. The exhibit has attracted 60,000 to 260,000 participants at previous stops.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for children. Children younger than 3 are admitted free. There is a $2 fee for admission to the Millennium Falcon part of the exhibit and a $2 fee for admission to the planetarium.

MORE INFORMATION:
For more information, visit lafayettesciencemuseum.org or call 291-5544. Tickets are available at the Museum box office, the Heymann Center box office or ticketmaster.com. Group and school tours are available.

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