Dinosaurs Invade Connecticut’s Capitol City; 55’ Long Animatronic Dinosaur Comes to Life on Columbus Boulevard

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City and State Officials joined the Connecticut Science Center and Presenting Sponsor Travelers for a ceremony on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. The event launches the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit.

CT Science Center's media event on April 10, 2012; photo credit: Sarah V. Gordon Photography

A crowd gathered to watch "Sheila" the Dinosaur come to life!

Travelers is committed to serving the communities where we live and work. We couldn't be more proud to support the Connecticut Science Center - Rita Ortiz, Travelers Community Relations

In celebration of the East Coast debut of the NEW Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit, "Sheila" a 55' animatronic Apatosaurus was erected across the street from the Connecticut Science Center. In a ceremony on Tuesday, April 10, Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra; Rita Ortiz, Travelers Community Relations; Randy Fiveash, Director of Connecticut Tourism and Matt Fleury, Connecticut Science Center President and CEO “flipped the switch” to bring the gigantic creature to "life". The Apatosaurus is a life-size extension of the exhibit and moves and roars!

Approximately 100 people joined in the festivities including employees from Travelers, the Science Center, the City and the State, as well as members of the media and a group of school children. Suspenseful music set the tone and created anticipation as the crowd arrived. A costumed dinosaur danced and high-fived passers-by. Connecticut Science Center President and CEO, Matt Fleury led the crowd in a countdown. Moments after Mayor Segarra and Rita Ortiz flipped the enormous switch, the dinosaur let out a giant roar and moved its head from side to side. The crowd was delighted and were invited inside for a tour of the exhibit.

The custom "switch" used in the ceremony was made by Connecticut Light & Power who fashioned the mechanism from a vintage telephone pole and customized it with the date to mark the occasion. The crew delivered it with pride and even helped make a last minute adjustment to the giant banner with their bucket truck.

Bringing the dinosaur to life was symbolic of the partner support that was needed to bring this one-of-a-kind experience to Hartford. Thanks to Travelers, the Connecticut Science Center has opened its biggest and most anticipated traveling exhibit to date. Dinosaurs Unearthed will delight and attract visitors from all regions of Connecticut and beyond during its five-month stay. More than 100,000 people are expected to view the exhibit. This creates positive economic impact and unforgettable experiences with science that will motivate students and visitors of all ages to enthusiastically embrace science at school, at home, and in their communities.

The Dinosaurs Unearthed Exhibit is on the 4th Floor of the Science Center, in the Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Traveling Exhibit Gallery. The exhibit features 14 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, 3 full-scale skeletons and 23 real fossil artifacts. To view the Dinosaurs Unearthed TV commercial click here. More information is available at http://www.CTScienceCenter.org.

About the Connecticut Science Center The LEED-Gold certified Connecticut Science Center, located in downtown Hartford, sparks creative imagination and an appreciation for science by immersing visitors in fun and educational hands-on, minds-on interactive experiences while maintaining an environmentally conscious presence. Visitors experience over 150 exhibits in ten galleries and a range of topics, including space and earth sciences, physical sciences, biology, the Connecticut River watershed, alternative energy sources, Connecticut inventors and innovations, a children’s gallery, and much more. Other features include four educational labs, a 200-seat 3D digital theater, function room, gift store and café, and ongoing events and lectures for all ages. The Science Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing science education throughout the state of Connecticut and New England, providing learning opportunities for students and adults of all ages, and engaging the community in scientific exploration. More information: http://www.CTScienceCenter.org or 860.SCIENCE.

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Tracy Shirer
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