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Ark Encounter to open July 7

An ancient account from the Bible and a one-of-a-kind attraction come together on July 7 in Williamstown.

The Ark Encounter, a sister attraction to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, is a full-sized reconstruction of Noah’s Ark that is more than 500 feet long and 51 feet tall (1-1/2 football fields long and higher than a modern four-story house), and cost approximately $100 million to build. When it opens, it will be the largest timber-frame structure in the United States.

President and co-founder of the Ark Encounter Ken Ham says visitors will be in awe of its size. The ark includes 132 realistic exhibits that bring to life the biblical account of Noah’s Ark. And no ark would be complete without animals, which have been meticulously created by hand from foam and metal. Interestingly, the animals on board the ark don’t look the same as the ones we see walking on Earth today. This change, called speciation, is one of the many educational features of the attraction.

The venue will also have a petting zoo, themed restaurant, and gift shop. Future attractions will include a pre-flood walled city, a Tower of Babel, an amphitheater, and a walk-through aviary.

“The vision goes back 30 years when I was a high school science teacher in Australia,” says Ham. “It is designed to be family-oriented, historically authentic, and environmentally friendly.” Located near northern Kentucky in Grant County, they expect 1.4–2.2 million visitors in the first year, an average of more than 100,000 per month.

Ark Encounter will be open 40 days and 40 nights—matching the biblical flood— starting July 7, and then go to daytime-only hours on August 16.

Ark Encounter is located at Ark Encounter Drive, Williamstown. Directions, more information, and tickets are available online at www.arkencounter.com or call (800) 721-2298.

Watch a video of a fly-over here and get behind-the scenes footage here. Debra Gibson Isaacs

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