When Sauder Village opens for the season, Tuesday, May 1, visitors will be greeted with no major changes, but many smaller ones.
“There were no major changes, but obviously we changed things in the village,” said Jeanette Smith, Sauder Village director of sales & marketing.
“In the museum building, where we keep a lot of our collections, some of the displays have been reworked– the organs, the automobiles, the old toys, the antique baby furniture.”
Just outside the entrance building, in what is known as “The Circle,” Smith said grant funding was utilized to build some brick sitting areas with benches.
Also, the circular walk has been widened “to make it easier to get around. You don’t have to walk around people,” Smith said.
New are 10 tent camping sites around Little Lake Erie, in addition to the 37 other campsites.
Those who like baby animals will get a chance to see a set of twins.
Buttercup, a cow, gave birth to a pair of calves last week.
“They are so cute,” Smith said.
There will be baby lambs, as well.
“It looks like there are going to be lots of baby lambs. They’re not here yet, but it looks like there will be lots,” she said.
Smith said last year, about 100,000 people visited Sauder Village.
“We hope it increases,” she said.
“With the increase in gas prices, we hear there are going to be more ‘staycations’ (vacations where families stay at or close to home). We’re promoting Sauder Village as a destination.
“We try to reach into northeast Indiana and southeast Michigan, as well as northwest Ohio.”
Each year, Smith said the village hosts about 18,000 school children; for 2012, school trip bookings are up.
“After all the budget cuts, (schools) are starting to give field trips back,” Smith said.–David Pugh