All Around Town Doors Open Jamestown

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FIXED-Poster_wWritten By
Walt Pickut

Shops, restaurants and museums all around Jamestown are once again ready to declare: “Doors Open!” The 2014 edition of Doors Open Jamestown, the one-day gala event slated for 10am to 4pm on Saturday, January 18 returns to tempt shoppers and browsers and bargain hunters with special deals, special treats, special meals, free admissions and raffles for valuable prizes.

“This will be a great day to see our town like you’ve never seen it before,” said Justin Hanft, event organizer for the Jamestown community Chamber of Commerce. Dozens of local attractions and restaurants are putting their best foot forward with special Doors Open menu features, a raffle at each location including a $25 Shoptauqua Gift Certificate and a Dinner at LaScala Gift Certificate worth at least $50. Each restaurant and vendor will also offer special prices during Doors Open Jamestown.

Doors Open is a wildly popular international movement now celebrated in Australia, Canada and nearly 50 nations throughout Europe and around the world. France was the first country to launch an Open Doors Festival in 1984. Always ready for a reason to celebrate, Glasgow, Scotland followed suit in 1990. Their success ignited such enthusiasm that in 1991 the Council of Europe inaugurated their own version called European Heritage Days.

Today, the European Open Doors Movement holds festivities at more than 30,000 historic sites and monuments across Europe, some never before seen by the public, and will open their doors to more than 20 million visitors.

After Doors Open Toronto scored a big hit north of the border in 2000, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors to hundreds of architectural and historic sites, local merchants returned from carrier and asked, “Why not Jamestown?”

Doors Open Jamestown made its debut in 2005. Doors Open means no admission charge, guided and unguided tours, drawings or raffles at each location, and a contribution from each attraction to a grand prize basket to be given away at the end of the event. Also, gift shops will offer discounts and all guests at nearby participating restaurants (see page XX) and stores can expect red carpet treatment. Some venues have logged more than 100 visitors an hour from all across the nation and even many international tourists.

“Last year we had 600 visitors at Fenton alone, and other sites reported the same experience,” Joni Blackman, Director of the Fenton History Center, said. “Every visitor goes home an ambassador for Jamestown,” Blackman added. In 2013 an unofficial count logged about 3000 extra visitors strolling through Jamestown’s festive streets, shops, attractions and restaurants.

The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame will host a live broadcast of WJTN Radio’s “The Times of Your Lives” with co-hosts Jim Roselle and Russ Diethrick, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Doors Open Jamestown day. Visitors to the CSHOF on Open Doors Jamestown day will have the opportunity to register not only for a $25 Shoptauqua gift card but a $50 ticket to the CSHOF’s 33rd Annual Induction Banquet, February 17th at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club.

The Reg Lenna Center For The Arts will be open to the public during Doors Open, promoting their Movies At The Center series (which has a screening that evening of “Enough Said” with James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Reg Lenna will also have ticket giveaways, tours of the theater and viewing access to the Buffalo Bill Billboard and an opportunity to meet and speak with the new Executive Director, Kathleen Eads.

During the Doors Open event, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, RTPI, will offer a raffle prize of a Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America, by Roger Tory Peterson. A brand new exhibit will also be open; Bob Hines: National Wildlife Artist, celebrates the life work of one of the great wildlife artists and illustrators of the 20th century, and is presented in collaboration with Hines scholar and biographer Dr. John Juriga of Elmira, NY.

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre will conduct tours of the theatre, including the house area, stage area, the dance practice area, work shop, stored costumes rooms and the old balcony. Visitors should be prepared to climb lots of stairs. They will have a drawing for four sets of three-show passes to the 2013 -2014 Season, valued at $50 per pass. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available in the lobby. Little Theater management warns, but does not guarantee, that Ghosts of days past may be seen.

The historic and fully renovated 1930 Erie Train Station at 211 – 217 West Second Street, immediately behind the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, will welcome guests to the new multi-modal, civic and visitors center during doors open Jamestown to enlighten visitors about the past, present and future of Jamestown’ natural and cultural beauty.

To learn more about these and the many other attractions, shops and restaurants rolling out the red carpet for visitors at Doors Open Jamestown visit to the Doors Open Jamestown Facebook page.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.