Believe it or not, Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium is turning 25.

To celebrate, Ripley’s is hosting a free “Meet a Hero, Be a Hero” event July 25th with appearances by local firefighters. Guests can interact with firefighters, see a firetruck and learn about the profession during a firetruck education session.

A blood drive will be held during the event. Donors will receive free admission to the odditorium from noon to 5 p.m.

A portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to Mission Blue Inc., an organization dedicated to supporting First Responders who have been injured on the job.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium features the world’s largest collection of the odd and unusual. The 10,000-square-foot Orlando location includes a tribute to the world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow, authentic dinosaur eggs and a picture of the Last Supper created from dryer lint.

The collection was started by Robert L. Ripley, a cartoonist, explorer, reporter, and adventurer, who traveled to 201 countries seeking the odd, the unusual, and the unexplained.

More than 2 million people visited his first public display at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933. The first permanent Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium opened in 1950 in St. Augustine. Now there are 31 odditoriums around the world.

The Orlando odditorium at 8201 International Drive is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and admission is $19.99 for adults and $13.99 for ages 3-11.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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