The Wellington County Museum and Archives is celebrating a successful summer with August visitor counts topping pre-pandemic levels.
The museum reopened its doors to the public on July 23 and welcomed an average of 330 visitors per week through the end of August — up 14 per cent from the same month in 2019, administrator Jana Burns reported.
Burns said the museum "took a bit of a risk," planning a full slate of summer programming not knowing how many people would be interested in returning to the facility when it reopened as part of phase 3 of the provincial plan.
"We said that our goal was just to have people come out and you know, have access to some fun activities," Burns said. "We had no idea that people would be so comfortable and excited to come."
Special offerings included a summer concert series, science and animal shows for kids, a day of war reenactments and two weeks of sold-out day camps.
In a report to the county's information, heritage and seniors committee, Burns said the days camps were "the most successful programme of the summer" and "brought the museum ot life in a way that has not been seen since March 2020."
As for what's behind the increase in visitors — which does not include special activities like day camps or concerts — Burns speculates with travel restrictions, more people are looking for things to do closer to home.
"Maybe they're things that they wouldn't have gone to before, but they're interesting and they're giving them a new perspective," she said.
"And I think that's really important for everyone's health right now, having a perspective and a love for your community and an appreciation for the historical and cultural artifacts that exist in one's community."