BY BEATRICE BACHLEDA
YEAH, MON! In 1995, Massillon Museum moved its permanent gallery collection to a new building on First and Lincoln Way right out of downtown. To celebrate, they threw a party and invited visitors to explore the new space, listen to music and learn about the Museum. It worked — so well, in fact, that the parties grew into a tradition artists and musicians look forward to yearly. This July 13 will be the 18th annual Island Party and Pig Roast at the Museum. Think mass quantities of Red Stripe Jamacian Lager and pineapple-laced pork.
“We found that holding the Island Party every year really helps expose the museum to people who typically wouldn’t think about going to the museum,” said Emily Vigil, the Museum’s events coordinator. The museum and its current main exhibit, “The Odditorium,” will be open until 9 p.m. Other exhibits feature the Massillon Tigers, Civil War memorabilia, photography highlighting Massillon’s historic Fourth Street and more.
A stunning 2,400 people showed up last year, so “we expanded the party area and added more food stations so there will be less lines,” said Vigil. The pig roast is joined by Jamaican-style jerk -spiced chicken, burgers and hot dogs. For herbivores, the Museum’s resident café, Chit Chat Coffee Shop, will be providing vegetarian-friendly food.
The party begins at 6 p.m. with family- and kid-friendly games such as hula hooping, limbo and a vintage photo booth. Reggae group Carlos Jones and The P.L.U.S. Band will be playing from 7 to 11 p.m. Admission is free; food and drinks (both alcoholic and not) will be available for sale. A few picnic tables are available, but it’s best to bring lawn chairs. “The Island Party has become such a popular tradition. We have people telling us they look forward to coming every year,” Vigil said.