GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children, a Gulfport facility geared towards play, education and exploration, turns 20 years old this week.
"I'm here to see Clifford and see what Clifford's doing today," said Claire.
There's always something going at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children. "I like to sing songs and dancing," said volunteer Ryan.
This is our state's first ever children's museum. It opened in 1998. On the museum's 20th anniversary May 5, 2018, Executive Director Cindy DeFrances is expecting to see the millionth customer walk through the doors.
A lot of planning went into the upcoming birthday celebration here.
"We're gonna have a parade leading the celebration and we will have Clifford as our grand marshal of the parade and we're asking everyone to bring their bikes, trikes, their wagons to start the parade decorated Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby. Wear your hats," said DeFrances.
What's a birthday party without a birthday cake? DeFrances said there's going to be a cake contest and plenty of food, along with live music.
A poster hanging in the building shows the happy memories made by so many who've visited Lynn Meadows. Yet, behind the smiling faces lies a sad experience that inspired co-founder of the center to create the museum in the first place.
"Twenty years ago Carol Lynn and Joe Meadows lost their daughter in a tragic car accident. Carol Lynn and the Gulfport Junior Auxiliary
Rose Alman was the president at that time. They wanted to do something in memory of their daughter," DeFrances recalled.
If you're planning on attending the birthday party on Saturday, be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair. There will also be a firework show later in the evening.
The 20th anniversary party is this Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. It's free and open to the public, however you will have to pay for food.