1:00 p.m. Sunday, September 15
"Sgt. Charles Floyd: A Young Man of Much Merit"

The Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center/Betty Strong Encounter Center will celebrate its 16th anniversary with the launch of a new animatronic exhibit, “Sgt. Charles Floyd: A Young Man of Much Merit,” at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15. Admission will be free. A cookie-decorating activity will follow.

The event will begin in the Keelboat Theater with special guests Matt Rixner and Russell Wooley, Sioux City actors who are the voices of Sgt. Floyd and his replacement, Pvt. Patrick Gass.

The Center’s Mike McCormick will discuss conceptualizing, planning, producing and installing the permanent exhibit. The Center’s Marcia Poole will speak about how Missouri River Historical Development, Inc.’s (MRHD) funding figures into the new attraction. The event will continue with an exhibit ribbon-cutting.

Visitors will see the animatronic “Sgt. Floyd” sitting on the Missouri River shore on a clear August 1804 evening in present-day Sioux City. The young man from Kentucky will “speak” about his readiness to serve as one of three sergeants and his dreams of seeing the Corps of Discovery’s ultimate destination.

The voice of “Pvt Patrick Gass” will draw visitors into the story of the young sergeant’s untimely death of natural causes on Aug. 20, 1804, in the present-day Sioux City area.

 “Sgt. Floyd” joins the Center’s four other animatronics: President Thomas Jefferson; Lewis & Clark; and Seaman the Newfoundland dog. All were built by Life Formations, of Bowling Green, Ohio. The “Sgt. Floyd” exhibit setting was designed and installed by McCormick; the exhibit mural was created by Sioux City artist Darren Maurer.

Following the exhibit launch, a cookie-decorating activity will get under way in the Betty Strong Encounter Center activity room where participants will use of variety of materials to personalize large sugar cookies to celebrate the Center’s 16th anniversary.