Check out the latest youth travel industry updates.
Louisville Celebrates Major Sports Industry Award
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—TFN’s Run 4 The Roses, the largest girls’ youth basketball tournament in the country, was recognized by SportsTravel Magazine as the Best Amateur Event in 2022. Hosted at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), July 5-8, 2022, the tournament smashed attendance records, with more than 40,000 female athletes, spectators, and coaches representing 1,400 teams hailing from 48 states and four countries.
As the host site, KEC used 84 courts, which officially cemented this year’s Run 4 The Roses as the largest youth basketball tournament in history.
“We are so proud that Run 4 The Roses has become the cultural highlight of the girls’ grassroots travel season,” says Tucker Neale, president and CEO of Ohiobasketball. We’re always looking for ways to grow and enhance the event in order to provide the best experience possible for our athletes and families. I want to thank our Louisville support system—the Louisville Sports Commission and Louisville Tourism team along with the Kentucky Exposition Center—as they are all a huge part of our success.”
Originally established in 2009 with 29 teams, the tournament has experienced 13 years of growth and is a huge economic boost for Louisville’s local economy. In 2002, the tournament resulted in an estimated $22.3 million in economic impact for the city. This past July, youth basketball events alone generated nearly $30 million and brought over 57,000 visitors to Louisville.
“Louisville has become an affordable and central hub for hosting youth amateur sporting events, and we are especially proud to host the largest girls’ youth basketball tournament in the country. KEC’s ability to provide more than 80 basketball courts all under one roof is unparalleled and affords us the opportunity to host large-scale tournaments like Run 4 The Roses,” says Cleo Battle, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism. “We are thrilled to be a part of growing this exposure tournament and congratulate Tucker and his team for this outstanding recognition.”
More information is available at louisvillesports.org.
WonderWorks Destiny Offers Educational Programs for Central New York Students and Teachers
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—WonderWorks Destiny is offering unique fall 2022 programs that align with its mission of sparking the imagination and inspiring the next generation of scientists, leaders, and creatives. The programs provide students and teachers opportunities to showcase their talents, learn new things, and visit the attraction for free.
“Our annual student art contest is already a favorite of both our guests and the WonderWorks team, even though it’s a relatively new program,” says Jonathan Cascella, general manager of WonderWorks Destiny. “We can’t wait to see what our local students have created.”
WonderWorks Destiny offers more than 100 hands-on exhibits, activities, and experiences. All exhibits relate to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and provide guests of all ages with hands-on entertainment.
Fall 2022 special programs include the Youth Art Contest, Teacher Wonder Days, Homeschool Days, and educational field trips.
Local youth artists are invited to enter the annual art contest for a chance to have their work displayed in the CNY-ART: New York Youth Art Gallery inside WonderWorks. The theme this year, “Brought to Light” focuses on what happens when ideas and theories get a chance to shine. Students or their teachers can submit artwork online until Dec. 14, 2022.
For more information, visit wonderworksonline.com/destiny.
New Science Center Set for American Museum of Natural History
NEW YORK—The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation is taking shape at the American Museum of Natural History, and the soaring, light-filled spaces are scheduled to open to the public on Feb. 17, 2023.
Designed by Studio Gang, the international architecture and urban design practice led by Jeanne Gang, the 230,000-square-foot Gilder Center project invites exploration of the far-reaching relationships among species that comprise life on Earth and reveals connections across the museum’s rich collections, trailblazing research initiatives, educational programs, and exhibition galleries. Physically, the Gilder Center connects many of the museum’s buildings, creating a continuous campus across four city blocks as envisioned more than 150 years ago. Intellectually, it provides a dramatic embodiment of one of the museum’s essential messages: All life is connected.
“In a time when the need for science literacy has never been more urgent, we are thrilled and proud to be nearing the long-awaited opening date for the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, a major new facility that will transform both the work of our museum and the cultural landscape of New York City,” says Ellen V. Futter, museum president. “In its exhibits and programs, and in the astonishing architecture that presents them to the world, the Gilder Center weds evidence-based thinking and transporting experiences that capture exploration and innovative scientific discovery.”
The Gilder Center will feature: the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium; the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center; the five-story Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Collections Core; the Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium; the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium; the 360-degree immersive science-and-art experience “Invisible Worlds;” and 18 newly built, renovated, or repurposed classrooms.
For more information on the Gilder Center, visit amnh.org/GilderCenter.
Indigenous Innovations Explored
TORONTO—The ingenuity of First Peoples from North America is celebrated in the exhibition “Indigenous Ingenuity: An Interactive Adventure,” now on view at the Ontario Science Centre. Created by the Montreal Science Centre and designed in collaboration with knowledge bearers from First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities, the exhibition celebrates the knowledge, culture, and history of Indigenous peoples.
“The Ontario Science Centre is excited to host ‘Indigenous Ingenuity,’” says Paul Kortenaar, CEO of the Ontario Science Centre. “By exploring Indigenous inventions through the lens of science and hands-on activities, this visiting exhibition showcases how Indigenous science is timeless and continues to influence our society today. We welcome everyone to enjoy this exhibition and learn, play, and discover together.”
“Indigenous Ingenuity,” which runs until April 16, 2023, invites visitors to experience the innovative processes that give rise to Indigenous knowledge by observing nature, listening to knowledge bearers, experimenting with scientific principles, and sharing experiences with others. With a bear and trickster as guides, visitors can take part in a virtual canoe race, build an igloo, test a kayak’s center of gravity, and more.
Also on display is “REGALIA: Indigenous Pride,” created by photographer Roland Lorente and his partner, Aline Saffore, who traveled across Eastern Canada to attend over 20 powwows. The photography exhibition features 30 portraits and stories of men, women, and children from 14 different First Nations communities across Canada dressed in stunning and colorful regalia, which tell each dancer’s personal stories, as well as those of their people and their worldview.
To learn more and to book tickets, visit ontariosciencecentre.ca.
Hersheypark Announces All-New Hybrid Coaster Coming in Summer 2023
HERSHEY, Pa.—Hersheypark amusement park announced it plans to open its all-new Wildcat’s Revenge hybrid coaster in the summer of 2023. One of 15 coasters at Hersheypark, the wood and steel hybrid will join one of the largest and most iconic coaster collections in the United States, 100 years after the first Wild Cat ride debuted at the park.
Wildcat’s Revenge adds an all-new steel track with unique elements to the existing wood framework for ride experience found only at Hersheypark. The hybrid coaster features a 140-foot hill, maximum speeds of 62 mph, and four inversions, including the world’s largest underflip.
“Based on our guest feedback, we knew coaster fans would love a hybrid at Hersheypark, and we’re thrilled to work with Rocky Mountain Construction on a custom wood and steel coaster with a nod to our history,” says Vikki Hultquist, general manager of attractions at Hersheypark.
Located in the Midway America region of the park, Wildcat’s Revenge features a fully renovated coaster station with a design that harkens back to the iconic 1923 Wild Cat station with low-pitched gables around the perimeter of the roof. Guests of Hershey’s height requirement and taller (48 inches and above) will sit in one of three custom trains, showcasing fully dimensional black, charcoal, and silver wildcats exacting revenge on their wooden predecessor.
For more information, visit hersheypark.com.