WHILE the embattled Bayworld complex has received the long-awaited news that parts of it will finally be run by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, after years of battling through red tape to achieve this, Friends of Bayworld are also rallying their efforts to keep it afloat. The group, which is dedicated to supporting the facility, is hard at work planning another of their successful Night at the Museum events which will be held on July 23. According to Friends of Bayworld representative, Anelle Bailey, they started the Night at the Museum campaign, of which the third edition will be held this year, with a Facebook event page. “We expected maybe 200 to 500 people to show up (for the first one). By 7pm, we had to close the doors as the buildings were filled to capacity. About 1 500 people attended,” she said. The first event was restricted to the Museum and Snake Park only and last year, they expanded it to include the entire Bayworld complex. More good news for the complex is the announcement on Friday that the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation and the municipality have signed a service level agreement for the upgrading of the complex. MEC of the department, Pemmy Majodina, said the provincial legislature has approved that the recreation and oceanarium part of Bayworld be run by the municipality for project management and redevelopment purposes. This means that the project to redevelop Bayworld will be handled by the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA). Pierre Voges, CEO of the MBDA, said the upgrade will cost about R300 million. “We do not have the money yet, but we will find it,” Voges said. According to Voges, Dorelle Sapere, who is the Planning and Development Manager at MBDA, will convene a group of experts to investigate whether Bayworld will be a tourist attraction or research and educational facility, or both of these.Night at the MuseumThe Night at the Museum event was born out of the idea of creating a fun affordable event for the whole family. This year the event, in its third year, will include live entertainment from bands such as The Algoa Caledonian Pipe Band and The Zwartkops Conservancy: Enviro kids. Visitors are encouraged to dress up as historical figures and bring torches to explore Africa’s Lost World, the Snake Park and the Oceanarium. The main feature of the event will be the Treasure Hunt in the Museum. This activity will encourage participants to read the displays to answer questions.Local company Magnetic Storm will provide special effects during the hunt with the use of sound, lighting and audio-visual equipment.The funds generated at the event will be used to purchase a fireproof cabinet for the Museum’s Otolith Collection, which comprises more than 19 000 ear bones collected from marine life.Any additional funds will go towards the maintenance of the Snake Park and the Museum.Night at the Museum will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 5pm to 10pm. Entry is R25. Children under the age of three may enter free.Tickets are available at Bayworld and at the Kids Emporium in the Baywest Mall.. Friends of Bayworld is an annual membership at Bayworld which grants card holders free access to the Port Elizabeth Museum, the Oceanarium, Snake Park and the No 7 Castle Hill Museum. Last year they sponsored the refurbishment of the Penguin Enclosure.For more info, visit the Night at the Museum Facebook page.