Dinosaur replicas paying visit to convention center

At least 50 museum-quality dinosaur replicas will roar their way into Blair County Convention Center this weekend for a first-time, three-day show.

Discover the Dinosaurs, a display mixing sound, motion, lights, activities and information, is expected to take over both floors of the convention center from Friday through Sunday.

“We like to bring the show to places that don’t normally have access to something like this,” said Dan Carl, media director for Blue Star Productions of St. Paul, Minn., a trade show company that initiated its mobile dinosaur display in November 2011.

The group is expected to move into the convention center today and start setting up for the show, convention and meeting planner Danea Koss said Monday. The event opens at noon Friday and continues Saturday and Sunday, with age-based admission fees.

The exhibit is divided into areas and scenes, some available for observation and others available for touching.

“We’ve found that kids want to be able to touch the dinosaurs, no matter what,” Carl said.

Some dinosaurs, he added, will be capable of moving, depending on the button pushed.

“They breathe, too,” he said. “Their stomachs go in and out.”

Show manager Stacy Mills estimated the dinosaur replicas at 8 or 9 feet tall. But some of them are long – as much as 30 feet, Mills said.

Each scene of dinosaurs will represent a specific time period reflecting when that group of dinosaurs would have roamed the Earth. Additional information, such as what they ate, where they lived and their size in comparison to a human, will be displayed on plaques.

Some activities, including a play area, coloring area, scavenger hunt and theater presentations are included in the admission price. Other attractions, including rides, bouncing areas, mini-golf, gem and fossil panning and face painting, will be available at an extra cost.

Carl said his organization booked the dinosaur show at the convention center because of its size and the available dates. He said he was familiar with the facility, having set up another trade show there.

“We need a venue that has enough square footage to fit us in,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.