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Plymouth Historical Museum Kicks Off First Lady Gown Exhibit

Museum showcases inaugural fashions in exhibit beginning today.

With the presidential campaign in full swing, it's only fitting the is kicking off its exhibit on first ladies' inaugural gowns today.

Like the election cycle, this display is a fixture every four years at the museum, Elizabeth Kerstens, the museum's executive director, said. It will run through Nov. 7.

The dresses, on loan from the Frankenmuth Historical Association, are reproductions of the actual dresses on display at the Smithsonian.

The replica gowns were created under the design direction of Don Nagel and David Zeese and based on the pair's drawings of the actual gowns at the Smithsonian, as photography of that exhibit is prohibited, Kerstens said.

Kerstens said the dresses had been created during the bicentennial celebration in 1976 to be worn by models at the time.

Paired with the gowns are memorabilia items from past inaugural balls and presidencies.

"Whenever we do exhibits, we try to see what else we have in our collection that can augment the exhibit to tell more of the story," Kerstens said. "We're always trying to tell a story."

Admission to the museum, located at 155 S. Main St. in Plymouth, is $5 for adults and $2 for children 6-17. The museum is open 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Active duty military and families will be granted free admission through Labor Day.

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