updated: 5/2/2013 12:54:17 PM
The Ripley County town of Milan is planning a celebration to mark the grand opening of an attraction officials hope will help revitalize the area economy. The events surrounding the new Milan '54 Museum are set for early June and follow a successful fundraising campaign to secure the largest collection of memorabilia from the movie "Hoosiers." During a special edition of Inside INdiana Business Television from Milan earlier this year, two prominent area leaders discussed efforts to boost the Ripley County economy.
May 2, 2013
(Milan, Ind.) - Milan’s 1954 basketball team and their supporters will be gathering in Milan, Indiana Saturday, June 8 for the Grand Opening of the new Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum. Located in the former State Bank of Milan, 201 W. Carr Street, the museum has more space than ever to showcase the memorabilia that has been collected over the years representing the 1954 Milan team that won over the much larger Muncie Central in the state basketball championship. The stories about the team inspired Angelo Pizzo to write the movie “Hoosiers”.
The events will kick off at 10am with a car show featuring 1950-60s vehicles from the Hoosier Hill Car Club. The car show will be located (if it doesn’t rain) in the Milan High School parking lot, 609 Warpath Dr (State Rt. 101), in Milan.
A DVD will be shown in the Milan High School gym on the big screen from 10:30-12:30, for a free will donation. Watch for details on what the DVD is about!
At 1pm a special unveiling of the original 1954 State Championship banners will be held in the gym. They were just restored, with funding from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation.
Following the unveiling, a parade will go through town carrying the 1954 team and any “Hoosiers” actors who are able to make it. Everyone is encouraged to line the streets and cheer them on, just like in 1954.
The official ribbon cutting for the Museum will be at 2pm, on the steps of the new Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum, 201 W. Carr St, Milan. “We’re so excited to finally be at this point!” noted Marianne Wiggers, Milan ’54 board president, “Many people have worked for a very long time to make this happen, especially Roselyn McKittrick, who we greatly appreciate.”
An Autograph Session will be held from 2:30 to 4pm in the Milan Town Hall on Carr Street. Those wanting autographs can pick up items to get autographed in the Museum, or at the autograph session. The cost to those wanting autographs is $15/person, with the funds going to help support the museum.
Games for all ages will be held from 2:30-5:30 on the blocked-off W. Carr Street, in front of the museum. Milan High School Student Council members are organizing the games for the day. Chris and Laura Ault will also be on hand to share their knowledge of ‘50s dances to prepare visitors for the evening Sock Hop. The Ripley County Community Foundation is sponsoring the games for the day.
A Museum Fundraising dinner is scheduled for 5:30-7pm, where for only $54/person fans can enjoy a sit-down (special menu) dinner with the 1954 Team and actors attending at the Reservation Restaurant in Milan. Fans will enjoy hearing the banter between the team members and have conversations with them. Seating is limited for the special dinner, and reservations must be made by calling the Ripley County Tourism Bureau at 888-747-5394.
Get your good socks out for a special Sock Hop at the Milan High School. The American Kings Band from Cincinnati, OH will be on hand to spin rock n’ roll tunes from the 1950-60s. Free will donations will be accepted for the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum. The dance is being sponsored by the Ripley County Tourism Bureau.
More information on the day’s events is available by calling the Ripley County Tourism Bureau, 888-747-5394, or www.ripleycountytourism.com. Information about the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum is available at www.milan54.org or calling 812-654-2772.
Source: Ripley County Tourism Bureau