SPARKS — On April 15, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England to New York City meeting its inundated fate before reaching America, leaving behind its 1912 882-foot long piece history more than 12,000 feet beneath the sea.
Titanic Nights, the theme chosen by the Sparks Museum and Cultural Center, will give visitors a chance to relive the Titanic experience throughout the month of April. The museum will mark the weekend of April 15, which memorialized the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, Festivities will be held onsite Thursday through Saturday, designed to enrich and educate visitors about the notorious oceanliner.
The main attraction is the digital dome screening of the film “Night of the Titanic”. The inflatable dome, supplied by the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada (CLCNN) in collaboration with Sparks Museum, will give visitors a multimedia planetarium experience of the Titanic, from it’s construction to its sinking and submerged discovery. Topics will include the events and conditions that caused this great tragedy.
“(The dome) gives a little different angle on the events of that night,” Paul McFarlane, director of the (CLCNN), said. “It goes into the engineering components and things that some people may not necessarily know about.”
McFarlane and the CLCNN, which is operating out of a storage building at Sparks High School, partnered with Sparks Museum for this event not only for education, but for commemoration. Alongside the film, which comes straight from the Houston Museum of natural science, will be immersion in the fashion and dance culture that took place aboard the ship.
“The fashion people wore on the ship were things that people in Sparks would have been wearing as well,” McFarlane said, adding that people will also have the chance Thursday to learn more about the women and children who occupied the Titanic.
On Friday, visitors will experience some of the music played Titanic and taste samples of actual menu items for first, second and third-class passengers prepared by local gourmet chef Craig Rodrigue.
Sparks Museum offers visitors a chance to take full advantage of all their facilities, according to Executive Director Anthea Humphreys.
“The tickets to the dome program will offer free admission to the museum and the permanent exhibits that depict what life was like on the Titanic,” Humphreys said, adding that visitors may also travel on the Victorian Avenue train free of charge.
“There is a little something for everyone, with the food samples and the dome program giving a wide variety for visitors,” McFarlane said. “It’s a full sensory experience to give people a chance to see, hear, smell and taste something of the Titanic.”
Sparks Museum and the CLCNN have also combined to bring replicas of items that were found on the ship and provide them to the viewing public during the duration of the events. McFarlane, an interdisciplinary instructor at Sparks High, has acquired several replicas for the display that he has used as teaching tools during his classes. He hopes his involvement in the CLCNN will help push the program to become one of 50 globally recognized Challenger Learning Centers.
The board of directors has former and current members of NASA and operates as a non-profit organization. With the help of the Sparks Museum partnership and month-long event, as well as taking the traveling inflatable dome to other Nevada schools, they are pushing to become fully funded.
“Night of the Titanic” presentations will be held every Saturday in April beginning today. Admission fees to the dome presentations, as well as Thursday’s fashion and dance and Friday’s music and food programs, are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. A pass for all three events is available for $25. Tickets can be reserved through Anthea Humphreys by calling 355-1144.