The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum Opens Amid Fanfare
SPRINGFIELD — On Saturday, June 3, the giant Cat in the Hat Balloon and a Cavalcade of Conveyances paraded down the famed Mulberry Street to kick off the grand opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum with fanfare. Parade dignitaries included Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The parade participants flowed onto the Quadrangle to enjoy performances by the SHOW Circus of Easthampton and students from the Community Music School of Springfield.
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum officially opened at 10 a.m. as the Cat in the Hat himself threw open the door and beckoned the crowd to join him in his new home, a museum dedicated to Springfield native and Cat in the Hat creator Theodor Geisel, a/k/a Dr. Seuss. The first-day crowd was 3,000 strong. A regular Saturday will attract a fraction of that number, said Welcome Center Supervisor Sharon Ferrara.
Many kids gave thumbs up when asked if they were having fun. One dad pointed to his son playing in the bakery meant to represent Ted Geisel’s grandparent’s bakery and said, “he doesn’t want to leave.”
Self-proclaimed Seuss fanatics said they were happy to see his personal items, such as his drawing desk and red rotary phone. “There is lots of history; I love that,” said Efrain Bermeo, who carried his 1-year-old son.
Exiting the museum with his family, Ja-Quan Gray, 11, noted, “out of 10, I give this museum a 1,000.”
The McElligot’s Pool exhibit caught the attention of Jacob Jackson, 8. “You can make your own fish,” he said with a laugh and a fist pump.
Many people responded to the abundance of murals recreated from Dr. Seuss books by John Simpson, project and artistic director, and his team of assistants from the UMass Amherst Commonwealth College. “It’s like walking right into a Dr. Seuss book,” Sarno said.
One mom approached Springfield Museums President Kay Simpson with two children in tow. “What you did in there is magical,” she said. “Thank you.”
Two young women from Springfield were impressed by the impact their city had on Geisel. “I had no idea how much Springfield was part of Dr. Seuss,” said Anna Zenno. Her friend Sphoorti Umarjee agreed, adding, “it was nice to see our childhood memories recreated so beautifully.”
Charlie Castillo and Joanna Aveles also commented on how seeing all the murals and exhibits brought back wonderful childhood memories.
And now it is time to make new memories. Bermeo shifted his son on his knee while sitting outside the museum under a tree. “I’m just starting with touch and texture for this guy right now,” he said. “My 4-year-old, though, he’s still in there with his mom.”