Dinosaur exhibits coming to Topeka with county commission’s approval

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TOPEKA (KSNT) – Exhibits featuring creatures from the prehistoric era are coming to Topeka and could bring visitors from across the Midwest, Visit Topeka announced Monday.

(Courtesy Photo/Visit Topeka)

Visit Topeka made the project announcement at Great Overland Station, which is expected to bring four different dinosaur exhibits to the capital city. The team of tourism specialists said the showcase has been dubbed “Topeka Dino Days.”

KSNT News first learned about the plan from a Monday morning Shawnee County Commission meeting. “SUE: The T. rex Experience” is one of the exhibits that plans to stop at Topeka’s Great Overland Station from Feb. 4, 2022 to May 1, 2022. The exhibit shown as Contract C441-2021 in the commission’s meeting agenda said the show’s visit to Topeka is a partnership between Shawnee County Parks + Recreation, Visit Topeka and the Field Museum of Natural History.

“This is actually one of four dinosaur-related experiences that we’re bringing to the market this spring, as part of a larger campaign that we’ll be announcing later today,” Sean Dixon, president of Visit Topeka, told the commission before they voted to approve it.

(Courtesy Photo/Visit Topeka)

While other exhibits besides “SUE” haven’t been named as of Monday, Visit Topeka did say they will bring “three core experiences and other exhibits” that could bring up to 100,000 additional visitors to the area. The tourism group predicts the exhibits and visitors combined could bring between $4 million and $5 million to the local economy through lodging, dining and retail. The Topeka Zoo and Kansas Children’s Discovery Center will join the Great Overland Station in hosting some of the dinosaur exhibits, and the KCDC said it will show off “tiny titans” and dinosaur eggs and nests for children to check out.

The Field Museum of Natural History website lists “SUE” as a showcase of a fully-articulated replica of a T. rex skeleton, including “touchable fossil replicas, scent stations and a naturalistic soundscape.”

The Shawnee County Commission’s three members all voted in favor of the exhibit. Watch the commission discuss and vote on the contract to bring the exhibit to Topeka below:

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