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dinosaurislemillionthvisitorThere were celebrations at Sandown’s Dinosaur Isle yesterday lunchtime (Sunday) when the one millionth visitor passed through the museum’s doors, marking a huge milestone for the popular attraction.

Alison and Lee Starling with daughters Tamlyn, 7 and Kaitlyn, 4, made tracks to the dinosaur museum on Culver Parade shortly after 11:30, where they were set to enjoy the free open day hosted in anticipation of the special millionth visitor.

Much to the family’s surprise, their visit has now been marked for decades to come with both Tamlyn’s and Kaitlyn’s hand prints set in concrete to form part of a new ‘walk of fame’, which features dinosaur-based artwork created by local artists Eccelstone George.

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dinosaurislemillionthvisitor4AAround 1000 visitors enjoyed the open day, which included plenty of paleontological fun, fossil plaster casting and model painting workshops, as well as fossil prospecting sessions. Youngsters picked up their own dinosaur balloon model and live music was enjoyed by all.

Dinosaur Isle first opened in August 2001 and has ever since been an important part of Sandown’s tourist appeal.

Listen to Dinosaur Isle’s General Manager, Peter Pewsey , talk about the Island attraction and it’s international connections…

dinosaurislemillionthvisitor5Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member responsible for tourism, said:

“I am very happy the museum has been so successful.

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“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.”

A themed cake, pictured above, was commissioned for the special occasion.

Main Photograph: Dinosaur Isle General Manager Peter Pewsey and Cllr Shirley Smart with Kaitlyn Starling, 4, Alison Starling, Lee Starling and Tamlyn, 7

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