A new passport program will provide holders with one admission this month to each of eight participating museums in the area.
Participating are the Little League Museum, Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History, Gen. John Burrows Museum, Sones Farm and Home Museum, Thomas T. Taber Museum, Blooming Grove Historical Society, Peter Herdic Transportation Museum and Rowley House Museum.
Bill Nichols Jr., River Valley Transit general manager, said the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum and Blooming Grove Historical Society previously discussed the idea of doing a joint promotion. Once the visitors bureau joined in the effort, the group grew to eight.
"We wanted to partner with some other museums to do some promotions and we started some discussions with (Blooming Grove)," Nichols said.
"One of the things (Nichols has) been talking about for some time is a way to pull together and market the county museums," said Jason Fink, vice president of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.
Starting Friday during Home Made Days, area residents may purchase passports that will give them one free admission to each of the museums.
Nichols said the idea of a passport really helped to bring the vision to life.
"We just tried to come up with something that would symbolize the opportunity to go around to these different areas and museums and a passport seemed (fitting)," he said.
Nichols said the event will help residents to find "what's in their own backyards."
Fink said he believes the program will be family friendly as they may be purchased for the immediate family as well as by individuals.
"We think a lot of families will jump on this during the summer," he said.
As a family or individual travels to the various museums, they will collect a stamp from each. Fink explained that when a passport is stamped with all eight, the individual or family hands it in and will receive a collectible pin.
The pin will be made by the same company that makes the Little League pins.
"We think the pin aspect would be very attractive to folks," Fink said.
The pin this year will feature Sones Farm and Home Museum, which was selected at random. The plan is to have a different museum featured each year.
Although the program will run all month, there will be trolley rides to each of the museums leaving from the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum this Friday and Saturday.
Nichols said the trolleys will stop at each of the participating museums.
Upon completing all eight visits, not only will a pin be earned but the passport will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win three prizes.
First prize is a $500 gift certificate for the Lycoming Mall. A group of gift certificates to various area restaurants totaling $250 is second prize, and the third winner will receive a pass for any of the Hiawatha's August Family Night Cruises.
"The goal of the program is to create more awareness ... in neighboring counties as well as locally to what there is to do in Lycoming County," Fink said.
All involved believe the program will allow residents and visitors to learn and have fun.
"It's a very good educational opportunity but it's also a fun opportunity. You look at some of the museums and the collections they've put together ... it's a very educational experience but a fun one as well," Fink said.