GERING, Neb. — Visitors to the Legacy of the Plains Museum in western Nebraska later this month will find the exhibit hall has undergone a $1.2 million makeover.

Volunteers have been busy preparing new displays for the project, which will focus on seven historical themes, the Scottsbluff Star-Herald reported ( ) Saturday. Visitors will find hands-on displays, videos, floor-to-ceiling murals and photographs, as well as antiques ranging in size from tiny arrowheads to massive farm implements.

The grand opening of the revamped museum will coincide with the annual Harvest Festival on Sept. 17 and 18.

“Everything’s new,” said Director Sandra Reddish. “It’s going to be a 21st century museum, with touch screens and interactive displays.”

Visitors will learn how to navigate the displays via a seven-minute video, Reddish said.

The museum’s seven zones each represent a theme: trails, transportation and communication; ranching and livestock; dryland farming; irrigation; commerce and trade; dwellings and domestics; and artists.

Each theme will claim its own section of the hall, and an additional timeline along the walls will lead visitors through the displays.

“Throughout the building, there will be things for kids to do,” board member and volunteer Rick Myers said.

Admission to the Harvest Festival is $5. A separate admission for the museum’s grand opening is $10 for adults and $5 for students, and children under 5 are admitted free of charge.

Information from: Star-Herald,