The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is changing the way people experience the museum this summer.

The center is offering two new tour options.

The Heavy Metal Tour is a summer-only guided tour that gives people detailed information on the M-60 tank and the P-38 Lightning airplane.

“When people visit the center, they are always asking for detailed information about the plane and the tank, so we decided to make it into a specialty tour,” said Hayes Scriven, director of the Bong Center. “The tour has a few twists though. It is going to be led by high school students and visitors will see inside the cockpit and view other parts of the P-38 not seen on the general admission tour.”

The Heavy Metal Tour is led by the center’s new education program, “The Bong Squadron,” a group of high school students trained to give the tour.

“We asked students from the area to apply and selected the ones we thought would be the best fit to give tours,” said John Gidley, education and outreach coordinator. “Each student will take a shift for two weeks and give tours, after that a new group of students will become tour guides.”

The second tour is a behind the scenes look at the center’s Collection Room. See first-hand the process used to catalog items and ready them for exhibit during the See the Cool Stuff tour.

Both specialty tours kick off Monday, June 17 at the Bong Center, 305 Harbor View Parkway.

The Heavy Metal Tour begins on the hour between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The See the Cool Stuff Tour is held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the first and third Monday of each month. At the end of each tour, guests can talk to museum staff about museum operations and collections. People must call ahead to schedule this tour at 715-392-7151.

The center also has three new displays to explore. Weapons of War explores weapons of the last century. Bong Center Patch Panel mimics one created by the Harbor Bar patrons in the Allouez neighborhood of Superior, and D-Day Paratrooper honors the men who fought and died June 6, 1944, during the Normandy invasion.

The Bong Center also announced a general admission pass offered at the Superior Public Library that allow the bearer free admission for a general tour. Check out the pass like you would a book at the library for a free general admission tour of the Bong Center. The passes don’t cover the specialty tours.

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