Category Archives: Union Station Kansas City

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Time to say good-bye to a legendary exhibition

Attendance is poised to top 100,000 for Diana, A Celebration at Union Station Kansas City. More people will have visited the exhibition in Kansas City than in any other location in the United States. Surely this is due in considerable part to the royal wedding in April, but it is also a testament to the regard in which the late Princess of Wales is still held.

Among the highlights of the past few months was the Royal Wedding Giveaway. It was an opportunity for Union Station and its partner companies to make a grand gesture that would be much appreciated by the recipients (go to the Union Station Facebook page to hear the winner notification). After all, a wedding reception worth $25,000 is quite a prize.

Not an institution prone to resting on its laurels, Union Station has plans for more special exhibitions covering a wide range of subjects. The next one, which comes to Kansas City June 24, is Art of the Chopper. It is quite a change from Diana, A Celebration, but it promises to be an event to remember. There will be 35 unique custom motorcycles — choppers — on display, along with information about their 30 creators.

The world of the chopper is a fascinating one that dates back to around the end of World War II. It was brought to public view in the movie Easy Rider and has grown out of the American desire for the freedom of the open road.

Originally, choppers were basically stripped down motorcycles. All the excess equipment, including windshields and fenders, were removed to make the machines lighter and faster. Then the modifications became more and more artful, until today, some of the bikes are considered works of art. One should not be surprised to find hard-core bikers and art lovers standing shoulder to shoulder admiring these rolling sculptures.

Tickets for Art of the Chopper will soon be available at the Union Station ticket office and online at www.unionstation.org.

So now it is time to bid farewell to Diana, A Celebration, as well as this blog and to welcome Art of the Chopper. Good-bye People’s Princess. Hello king of the road.

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Filed under Custom motorcycles, Princess Diana, Royal Wedding, Uncategorized, Union Station Kansas City

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: 75,000 visitors and counting

At 75,000, Diana: A Celebration, the exhibition at Union Station that chronicles the life and charitable works of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, has significantly exceeded attendance expectations.  Union Station officials expect the numbers to rise considerably higher before the exhibition ends June 12.

The last Union Station special exhibition, Dinosaurs Unearthed set an attendance record of more than 100,000, but it was open 22 weeks longer.  Thus “Dinosaurs Unearthed” had an average weekly attendance of 2,778.  So far, Diana is averaging about 6,818 visitors a week, giving it a 245 percent advantage over Dinosaurs. In other words, if the weekly average attendance for Diana remains the same for the rest of the exhibition’s run, it will see more than 95,000 visitors in less than half the time it took Dinosaurs to be viewed by 100,000 people.

“That so many people heard about and came to see Diana: A Celebration from all over the Midwest and the nation is certainly exciting,” said George Gaustello, president and CEO of Union Station. “Such numbers show that Union Station has become the kind of destination attraction it should be. We’re already getting ready for the next big exhibition, Art of the Chopper,which will attract a different audience and help expand awareness of the Station and its ability to bring in visitors.”

To accommodate the large number of Diana fans, Union Station will open the exhibit on Mondays, when the it is normally closed, for the remaining weeks of its stay in Kansas City. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets well ahead of time and to plan to attend on a weekday to avoid the largest crowds.

“With the kids out of school, Diana: A Celebration makes a perfect weekday summer excursion,” Gaustello said.  “People of all ages enjoy learning Princess Diana’s story.”

Tickets for Diana: A Celebration are available online at www.unionstation.org or at the Union Station ticket office and the Sprint Center box office. More information is available at www.unionstation.org/diana.

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Filed under Custom motorcycles, Princess Diana, Uncategorized, Union Station Kansas City