PBY Memorial opens on Pioneer Way

From left, Wil Shellenberger, Richard Rezabek and Jim Siggens celebrate the opening of the PBY Memorial Museum. - Michelle Beahm/Whidbey News-Times
From left, Wil Shellenberger, Richard Rezabek and Jim Siggens celebrate the opening of the PBY Memorial Museum.
— image credit: Michelle Beahm/Whidbey News-Times

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the PBY Memorial Museum held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its soft opening at its new location on Pioneer Way Friday.

The museum, now located in the former Whidbey Furniture building, is opening its doors to allow visitors to view what they’ve done so far, but according to Wil Shellenberger, PBY Memorial Foundation president, the museum isn’t quite finished yet.

“We’re still in the process of setting up exhibits, so it’ll be two or three weeks before the museum is complete,” Shellenberger said.

Shellenberger estimated that six or seven exhibits in the museum would be ready today and each week will see the completion of additional exhibits.

“The museum is always a work in progress,” Shellenberger said. “We constantly change exhibits, add things here, add things there, but the major exhibits will all be done in about three weeks.”

Shellenberger said that for the time being, no admission will be charged, and starting around June 18 or 19, they’ll start charging “preview prices,” $2 less than regular prices.

He said general admission is $5, and there are discounted prices for military and children.

“We need to open our doors so that we can start generating some revenue,” said Shellenberger, “but the grand opening will be conducted on the 25th of July, and we’ll have a dedication ceremony.”

The soft opening, which started at 11:30 a.m., was mostly for local businesses, though the public was welcome.

The Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce sent out invitations to the event and Mayor Scott Dudley was on hand to cut the ribbon.

“We’re not making a real big deal about this,” Shellenberger said. “A soft opening means low key.”


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