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Aurora Fossil Museum set to reopen

The Aurora Fossil Museum will celebrate Memorial Day by reopening for the first time since health-related closures of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shut-down of North Carolina, the United States and most of the known world.

The museum’s Grand Reopening Celebration will still be scaled back, according to museum executive director Cynthia Crane, who said that won’t dampen the spirit of the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 29 and will feature “food trucks, a DJ and plenty of fossil digging.”

Masks are no longer required, but Crane said that social distancing is encouraged.

“We have been working hard on projects and upgrades to various museum areas, inside and out, so please make plans to check them out,” she said.

Also scheduled for opening day will be the announcement of whoever wins the museum’s “Annual Meg Tooth Raffle” and become the proud owner of an actual megalodon tooth. According to most research, the megalodon shark, which grew up to 50 feet in length, has been considered one of the most fearsome ocean predators in earth’s history. Crane said this particular tooth measures six inches from root to tip and was discovered in the southeastern United States. It was donated by a long-time museum supporter to help raise needed funds and shows no obvious signs of restoration. Tickets are still available at $20 each or six for $100 and may be bought until the close of business on Friday via the link to the museum’s online gift shop: https://www.aurorafossilmuseumstore.com/products/2021-may-megalodon. Tickets will also be available at the gift shop on the day of the event. The drawing will occur on Saturday at 4 p.m. via Facebook Live.

“All profits from this raffle will go to support the operation of the museum, employ our amazing staff, and continue our mission to educate. It’s a totally ‘jawesome’ opportunity,” Crane said.

For those who cannot attend on May 29, the museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m on Memorial Day, closed on May 1 and 2 for maintenance and cleanup, then open for summer hours starting June 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

“There is no charge for admission but contributions are always gratefully appreciated,” Crane said.

The Aurora Fossil Museum is located at 400 Main Street in Aurora, and can be reached via email at info@aurorafossilmuseum.org or by calling 252-322-4238.