Roanoke Valley Museums Celebrate “Smithsonian Day” with Free Admission

Bev Fitzpatrick

The History Museum of Western Virginia, O. Winston Link Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Transportation join the Smithsonian Institution in its celebration of culture and learning, for everyone by offering free admission on Sat. Sept 25 to visitors presenting an easily accessible Museum Day Ticket.

The Museum Day Ticket can be found in this month’s Smithsonian magazine and online at Visitors who present the official pass get free admission for two people to one participating museum or cultural venue. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address.

Museum Day 2010 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event.  Over 300,000 museum-goers and 1,300 venues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated in Museum Day 2009. Listings and information about all participating museums for 2010 can be found at, along with the downloadable pass.

“We have a good relationship with the Smithsonian Institution and are delighted to participate in the Smithsonian’s Museum Day program,” said Virginia Museum of Transportation executive director Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr. “We’re in the planning stage to improve our facility, our exhibits and our visitor experience, and we’re remarkably fortunate to be working with William L. Withuhn, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. With over 25 years experience at the Smithsonian, he is considered the nation’s top transportation exhibition planner and developer.”

The Virginia Museum of Transportation is the Official Transportation Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and home to renowned steam locomotives and other rail equipment, model trains, and antique cars. Located in the historic Norfolk & Western freight station at 303 Norfolk Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 24016. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5. (540) 342.5670.

The O. Winston Link Museum is a short stroll away via the Goode Railwalk which offers rail-themed exhibits along the route. Located in the restored Norfolk & Western passenger station, the museum is devoted to the extraordinary photography of the late O. Winston Link. 101 Shenandoah Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016. Open Monday-Sunday 10-5. (540) 982-5465.

Also nearby on the third floor of the Center in the Square on Roanoke’s Historic Farmers’ Market, the History Museum of Western Virginia hosts permanent and traveling exhibits about the history of the Roanoke area and the Commonwealth of Virginia. One Market Square, Roanoke VA 24011. Open Tuesday–Friday 10–4, Saturday 10–5 and Sunday 1–5. 540/342-5770.

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