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These museums offer free admission on Saturday

Bellingham Railway Museum chronicles history of local railroads

Take a look inside the Bellingham Railway Museum, which features model trail layouts, artifacts and displays that chronicle the history of Whatcom County through its railroads. Get details at BellinghamRailwayMuseum.org.
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Take a look inside the Bellingham Railway Museum, which features model trail layouts, artifacts and displays that chronicle the history of Whatcom County through its railroads. Get details at BellinghamRailwayMuseum.org.

Four museums in Whatcom and Skagit counties and several other Puget Sound-area institutions are participating in the annual nationwide Museum Day Live! event offering free admission Saturday.

Museum Day Live! is sponsored every September by Smithsonian magazine, in the spirit of the free Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington, D.C.

Bellingham Railway Museum, Whatcom Museum, Lynden Pioneer Museum and the Skagit County Historical Museum in La Conner are participating this year.

Notable participating museums in the Puget Sound region include the Museum of Flight, Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, Nordic Heritage Museum, Henry Art Gallery, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Museum of Pop Culture, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle Art Museum, the Frye Art Museum and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

Other participating museums are in Bellevue, Snoqualmie, Bainbridge Island and Tacoma. For a complete list, go online to smithsonianmag.com/museumday/venues.

A Museum Day Live! ticket, which must be downloaded online, provides free admission for two people per household or email address. Each set of tickets is good for one museum visit on Saturday.

Check the individual museum websites for hours and locations.

Local museums

▪  Bellingham Railway Museum, 1320 Commercial St., features displays that describe the importance of the railroad in the pioneer era and the role railroads played in the logging industry in Whatcom County. Info: 360-393-7540, bellinghamrailwaymuseum.org. Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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Whatcom Museum is participating in the annual nationwide Museum Day Live! event offering free admission Saturday. Robert Mittendorf rmittendorf@bhamherald.com

▪  Two Whatcom Museum galleries will be open: the Lightcatcher at 250 Flora St. and Old City Hall at 121 Prospect St. Current exhibits include the John M. Edson Hall of Birds; “Kinseys in Color,” a collection of hand-tinted black-and-white photographs; and “Back at the Park: Vintage Views from the Photo Archives.” In the Lightcatcher’s Family Interactive Gallery, visitors can try “Full STEAM Ahead” experiments from 10:30 a.m. to noon and studio arts and crafts from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A docent-led tour of “People of the Sea and Cedar” is 2:30-3:30 p.m. Info: 360-778-8930, whatcommuseum.org. Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

▪  Lynden Pioneer Museum, 217 Front St., Lynden, offers exhibits on pioneer settlers’ lifestyles, military history, agriculture and transportation. Its highlight is a life-size walkable replica of the historic downtown Front Street. There’s also a large collection of antique vehicles, horse carriages and farm implements. Info: 360-354-3675, lyndenpioneermuseum.com. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

▪  Skagit County Historical Museum, 501 S. Fourth St. in La Conner, features historical exhibits and artifacts that chronicle the pioneer years and feature life-size historical dioramas. It has an extensive collection of agricultural implements and Native American artifacts from the Skagit Valley region. Current exhibit is “Washington Remembers WWII: The Skagit Homefront.” Info: 360-466-3365, skagitcounty.net/ Departments/HistoricalSociety. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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