Summer concerts rock OMSI’s ‘After Dark’ events

See how this museum mixes adult fun and science, to attract big crowds of young adults each month …

OMSI After Dark guest Lesia Lichonczak discovers the hair-raising effects of a Van de Graaff generator.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With the addition of rock music to their “After Dark” events this summer, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is appealing to more young adults than ever.

Traditionally known as being a fun place for more than just families with little kids, the museum has continued to build interest, and crowds, for their last-Wednesday-of-the-month “grown-up” events.

OMSI Event Manager Andrea Middleton says the After Dark events are the perfect place for adults to let their “inner geek” out to play.

“It’s ‘geeks gone wild’ for the 21+ crowd,” is how OMSI Event Manager Andrea Middleton described it at the June 27 event.

“We started ‘OMSI After Dark’ about three years ago, to reach the ‘in-between adult audience’ who are no longer children, or who have kids of their own. We’re showing them that OMSI also offers entertainment and education for them also.”

In addition to providing access to their hands-on exhibits and displays – without the need to fight through a sea of small children – the After Dark series also showcases specialty food vendors, and local artisans, as well as beer, wine, and liquor bars set up throughout the building.

Jennifer Wikstra, Matt Kotwasinski, and others, participate in a live “science quiz” offered by an OMSI educator.

Guests see and hear what it’s like to be inside a tornado, in this OMSI After Dark exhibit.

Blacksmith Nick Marcelja of Red Troll Forge demonstrates his fiery art.

“Each event explores a new science theme to which young adults can relate,” Middleton explained, “such as the science of beer, the chemistry of sugar, and the appeal of bacon.”

Taking advantage of the summer weather, Middleton said, they’re also offering live bands through August, as an additional draw.

Kellee Sandoval tries her hand a remotely operating an industrial robot.

The Robinsons & The Psychedelic Family Band entertain guests at OMSI After Dark.

Next Wednesday, July 25, the After Dark event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. and features special attractions ranging from “Flaming Tubes and Good Vibes” musical act to brain-controlled video games, a special hologram display, and Segway rides.

At 9:00 p.m. live music begins, this month featuring Wild Ones and Mimicking Birds.

Then, on August 29, they’ll feature the music of Lost Lander and Blue Skies for Black Hearts.

So, for kid-free, brain-building science fun, consider attending “OMSI After Dark”.

All you need to know about OMSI After Dark

  • Last Wednesdays, monthly
  • 7 to 11 p.m.; concert at 9:00 p.m.
  • $18 Adults, 21+, must show ID
  • $9 for OMSI members
  • FREE for OMSI After Dark members
  • 1945 SE Water Avenue
  • See their website: CLICK HERE or call (503) 797-4000

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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