News Release

Maritime Museum partner offers free holiday museum

Contact: Elise Doster


     HAMMOND – The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum will open its doors for free during the holiday season.
     The nonprofit organization will waive its general admission fee throughout December to help local residents enjoy the holiday season without worrying about financial strain.
The museum initially thought it might raise admission prices to control increased operating costs, but the Museum Board of Directors decided free admission was most appropriate, a museum official said.
     “I just couldn’t bring myself to raise prices,” said Jay Martin, director of the museum. “I knew that it would be difficult to ask people for more of their hard earned money this holiday season, so it occurred to me that maybe we shouldn’t ask for any of their money at all.” 
     Martin is also a history professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, which is an educational partner with the museum and has been a significant collaborator in the museum’s effort to share the history of maritime Louisiana. 
     The university has partnered with the museum on numerous projects including conducting marine ecology research, creating Madisonville shipbuilding exhibits, providing the museum with interns and building a replica of a Civil War era submarine.
Other museum exhibits include “Canals of New Orleans,” “Lighthouses of Louisiana” and “Wood and Water, a celebration of Louisiana Boatbuilding.” 
     The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon– 4 p.m. People who visit the museum in December will also receive special holiday coupons from Madisonville business that have volunteered to support the free admission program.
     Individuals and families may visit for free, but large group rates still apply to accommodate proper staffing. Other fee-based museum holiday activities include the new Swashbucklers Birthday Overnight, the Maritime Holiday Camp for kids, a holiday Gift Shop clearance sale and discounts on holiday rentals. 
     For information call the Maritime Museum at (985) 845-9200 or visit

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