Press release from Ripley County Tourism Bureau
(Milan, Ind.) - Milan’s 1954 basketball team and their fans will be gathering in Milan, Indiana Saturday, June 8 for the Grand Opening of the new Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum. Located in the former State Bank of Milan, 201 W. Carr Street, the museum has more space than ever to showcase the memorabilia that has been collected over the years representing the 1954 Milan team that won over the much larger Muncie Central in the state basketball championship. The stories about the team inspired Angelo Pizzo to write the movie “Hoosiers”.
The events will kick off at 10am with a car show featuring 1950-60s vehicles from the Hoosier Hill Car Club. The car show will be located in the Milan High School parking lot, 609 Warpath Dr (State Rt. 101), in Milan. Others are invited to bring their 50-60s vehicles as well.
A special video will be shown in the Milan High School gym on the big screen from 10:30-12:30, for a free will donation. Watch for details on what the show is about!
At 1pm the unveiling of the original 1954 State Championship banners will be held in the gym. They were just restored, with funding from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation.
Following the unveiling, a parade will go through town carrying the 1954 team and any “Hoosiers” actors who are able to make it. Everyone is encouraged to line Main and Carr streets and cheer them on, just like in 1954.
The official ribbon cutting for the Museum will be at 2pm, on the steps of the new Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum, 201 W. Carr St, Milan. “We’re so excited to finally be at this point!” noted Marianne Wiggers, Milan ’54 board president, “Many people have worked for a very long time to make this happen, especially Roselyn McKittrick, who we greatly appreciate.”
An Autograph Session will be held from 2:30 to 4pm in the Milan Town Hall on Carr Street. Those wanting autographs can pick up items to get autographed in the Museum, or at the autograph session. The cost to those wanting autographs is $15/person, with the funds going to help support the museum. Gayle L. Johnson, author of “The Making of Hoosiers, How a Small Movie from the Heartland Became one of America’s Favorite Films” will also be present, to sell and sign her book.
Games for all ages will be held from 2:30-5:30 on the blocked-off W. Carr Street, in front of the museum. Milan High School Student Council and National Honor Society members are organizing the games for the day. Chris and Laura Ault will also be on hand to share their knowledge of ‘50s dances to prepare visitors for the evening Sock Hop. The Ripley County Community Foundation is sponsoring the games for the day.
A Museum Fundraising dinner is scheduled for 5:30-7pm, where for only $54/person fans can enjoy a sit-down (special menu) dinner with the 1954 Team and actors attending at the Reservation Restaurant in Milan. Fans will enjoy hearing the banter between the team members and have conversations with them. Seating is limited for the special dinner, and reservations must be made by May 28, by calling the Ripley County Tourism Bureau at 888-747-5394.
Get your good socks out for a special Sock Hop at the Milan High School from 7-9pm. The American Kings Band from Cincinnati, OH will be on hand to play rock n’ roll tunes from the 1950-60s. Free will donations will be accepted for the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum. The dance is being sponsored by the Ripley County Tourism Bureau.
More information on the day’s events is available by calling the Ripley County Tourism Bureau, 888-747-5394, or www.ripleycountytourism.com. Information about the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum is available at www.milan54.org or calling 812-654-2772.