March 25, 2009
America On Wheels Marks First Anniversary With Full
Month of Celebration and Activities
AAllentown, PA - America On Wheels (AOW) transportation
museum celebrates its First Anniversary in April, marking
a successful inaugural year that brought a visit from Indy
legend Mario Andretti, a congratulatory letter from late-night
talk show host Jay Leno and approximately 30,000 visitors
who enjoyed two highly popular changing exhibits, numerous
educational programs and the institution's growing reputation
as a new hotspot for auto enthusiasts across the nation.
A Birthday Celebration is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
on Saturday, April 18, with a visit from "Herbie, the Love
Bug," the Volkswagon Beetle that became an icon in the 1969
film. In addition, the Minsi Trails Boy Scout Trexler District
Pinewood Derby Finals will start at 9 a.m. and from 10:30
to 11:30 a.m. British car enthusiast Richard Miller will
hold an interactive discussion on the "Post-World War II
Invasion of the British Cars."
"We are just thrilled at the success we have enjoyed, the
popularity of our exhibits and the comments we have received
from all of the people who have toured the museum over the
past 12 months," said AOW Executive Director Linda Merkel.
"I want to thank the City of Allentown, the people who
have visited, the other institutions in the region and,
most of all, my staff, volunteers and board of directors
for all the hard work, cooperation and support they have
contributed since we opened last year," Merkel said.
Board Chairman Jack Curcio praised Merkel and her staff
for the achievements of the inaugural year and reiterated
his faith that AOW will be a linchpin of development for
the Allentown riverfront.
April's anniversary celebrations also include the premiere
of a new exhibit - "The Bulgari Collection - Automobiles
of Excellence," featuring the Allentown-based classic antique
vehicles collection owned by renowned Italian jewelry designer
Nichola Bulgari. The exhibit, which replaces the very popular
"Legends of Speed" racecars, opens April 11.
Several other events are also scheduled for April, including:
- April 4 -- "Oldies But Goodies - 55+ Day at AOW," which
showcases films and autos from the 1950s. The Academy
Award-winning movie "Mr. Roberts" from 1955 will be shown.
- April 4 - An Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 11 a.m.
for children ages 3-12.
- April 25 - "Black-and-White Movie Day at the Museum"
will feature a series of automobile-related films in the
Orientation Theater from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- April 25 - "Park and Perk," 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. for the
start of a weekly, early-morning gathering of motorheads
and car enthusiasts in the AOW parking lot. Bring your
coffee and donuts and your hot-rods, drifters, classic
antiques, muscle cars or personal favorites and enjoy
a few hours of conversation other car buffs.
In addition to the popular exhibits and events over the
past 12 months, AOW has gained recognition as an Allentown
landmark that includes a growing reputation as a location
for elegant events and an icon of redevelopment on the Lehigh
Riverfront. AOW was nominated for the Properties of Merit
program in 2008.
A new partnership with other downtown Allentown cultural
institutions, created by Merkel, is working to generate
increased tourism in the Queen City, and the museum is also
reaching out to its local neighborhood to help city residents
enjoy the sights, educational programs and benefits of the
The elaborate galleries of the AOW feature the vehicles
that put our nation, literally, on the road to international
leadership in automotive transportation. Exhibits range
from the latest in personal transportation vehicles, such
as scooters and Segways, to the grand Mack Trucks that help
feed and supply a growing country.
The "Legends of Speed" exhibit, which wraps up at the end
of March, features more than 30 short-track racers, a replication
of the famous Allentown garage of Hiram Hillegass and a
tribute to the Lehigh Valley's own Mario Andretti with several
of the actual cars that Andretti raced - including his Indianapolis
AOW also offers hands-on playtime exhibits and learning
centers for the children and a souvenir shop for race fans
and anyone with an affinity for our automotive legacy.
Purchase your museum tickets by visiting the America on
Wheels Museum. For more information, call the museum staff
at 610-432-4200, e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to www.americaonwheels.org.
Ticket prices, which include admission to the Community
Program, are $7 for adults, $5 for senior citizens; $3.50
for children ages 6 to 16. Children 5 and under are free.
For More Information:
Linda Merkel - Executive Director
America On Wheels Museum
5 N. Front St. Allentown, PA