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Mississippi Aquarium celebrates $4M expansion with Changing Tides Festival

Photo courtesy of Mississippi Aquarium/Facebook

Mississippi Aquarium’s newly renovated Changing Tides building is now open to the public following a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in celebration of the $4 million expansion.

The remodeled building adds 7,000 square feet of indoor and interactive exhibits housing more than 100 new animals across three biomes, which include a kelp forest, rainforest, and coral reef.

“The opening of Changing Tides represents a milestone for Mississippi Aquarium,” Mississippi Aquarium President and CEO Kurt Allen said. “This ribbon-cutting is the first in a series of events we have planned to celebrate the opening of our first expansion and honor the three pillars on which the Aquarium was founded: education, community, and conservation.”

Visit Mississippi will also be presenting a Changing Tides Festival in honor of the new renovations, which will include a week of events and promotions.

The festival will begin with a beach clean-up at Jones Park on Saturday, August 26 starting at 8 a.m., with Miss Mississippi Vivian O’Neal set to make an appearance and assist during the event.

In addition, the festival will include a daily upcycling craft fair, a touch-a-truck day, and opportunities to learn more about local recycling efforts from organizations dedicated to conservation.

Here’s the full schedule of events for the festival:

  • Saturday, August 26: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Beach Clean Up at Jones Park Beach; 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Upcycling Craft Fair
  • Sunday, August 27: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Upcycling Craft Fair
  • Monday, August 28: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Gulf Coast Hospitality Day; Dr. Alexa’s Repairium
  • Thursday, August 31: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Diaper Drive
  • Friday, September 1: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Glass Half Full
  • Saturday, September 2: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Upcycling Craft Fair
  • Sunday, September 3: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Upcycling Craft Fair; Touch-a-Truck at Mississippi Aquarium Entry Ramp

During the week of activities, the Mississippi Aquarium will have multiple opportunities to visit at a discounted rate.

On Monday, August 28, all hospitality workers including hotel, casino, restaurant, and bar employees will be allowed free admission to the aquarium with proof of employment.

On Thursday, August 31, the aquarium will offer a buy-one-get-one-free promotion with the donation of a package of children’s or adult diapers.

In honor of Labor Day weekend, first responders and medical personnel with proof of employment will also be given admission starting Saturday, September 2 through Monday, September 4.

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