To celebrate the day, the museum is giving customers free entry and is hosting a party between 10:00 and 16:00.
Museum general manager Peter Pusey said:
“Based on current and projected visitor numbers up to and including 8 February, we are very confident the millionth visitor will arrive on the Sunday.
“We estimate that we need around 300 people to turn up on the day, and we won’t have any problems getting that as we get many hundreds through the doors when we host free events.
“I have been here since day one and to think we are on the brink of welcoming our millionth visitor is amazing. I cannot wait for the day, and we’ll be giving the lucky person a prize as well.”
There’s plenty of paleontological fun planned throughout the day. Guests are invited to bring any fossils they have found to be identified. Also visiting will be Dr Martin Munt from the Natural History Museum.
The Friends of Dinosaur Isle will be holding a fossil plaster casting and model painting workshops as well as fossil prospecting sessions.
You’ll be able to pick up your own dinosaur balloon model, enjoy live music and the cutting of the official ‘Millionth Visitor’ cake once the lucky person walks through the door.
In true Hollywood style, the millionth visitor will be asked to provide their hand prints to form part of a new ‘walk of fame’, which features dinosaur-based artwork created by local artists Eccelstone George.
Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member responsible for tourism, said:
“Welcoming the one millionth visitor will be a wonderful occasion and I am very happy the museum has been so successful.
“Not only is it popular with tourists, but the museum receives excellent support from the local community including fossil collectors and the Friends of Dinosaur Isle. Without them the museum would not be where it is today.”
David Thornton, chief executive of Visit Isle of Wight, added:
“Dinosaur Isle forms one of the cornerstones of the Isle of Wight’s heritage branding and is a key aspect of what makes the Island distinct and different.
“Over the past couple of years the museum has, quite rightly, been phenomenally successful and we are delighted to help Dinosaur Isle celebrate its millionth visitor.”
For those hunting for their own millennial specimen, a special fossil walk with Alex Peaker is planned for 9.30am on 8 February. Normal charges apply and booking is essential. Contact the museum on 01983 404344 to book.
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