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MOSI goes to the max

How do you celebrate the birth of a 200,000-plus square-foot science center? You invite Tony Yaniro, featured rock climber in To The Limit, to rappel off the MOSIMAX dome theater. Yaniro discusses and demonstrates his sport Sunday through Tuesday.

The Museum of Science and Industry unveils its $35-million expansion Saturday. With the opening of the MOSIMAX theater, Hillsborough County Public Library, Head Start Center, BioWorks, Focus Gallery and the Back Woods, the Museum of Science and Industry becomes the largest science center in the Southeast.

A four-day bash will mark the birth of the new MOSI. The party begins with the dedication ceremony for the new annex at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues until 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4. During that span, the public is invited to tour the facilities.

Visitors can explore nature through the trails of the Back Woods, a doghouse in the Kid's Biodiversity Parade, or a video "operating room" in How We Keep Ourselves Going.

The highlight of the weekend will be the opening of the MOSIMAX theater, with hourly shows from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The IMAX dome theater creates a complete sensory experience with a domed screen providing 10,500 square feet of visual effects and a six-channel sound system by Sonics Associates Inc. Tony Yaniro stars in To The Limit, the first movie in the theater.

The party will include performances by the Dundu Dole West African Ballet, an autograph session with artist Loreen Barry from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and an introduction to the new board game Bailiwick by its creator Kimberly Coker from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Paul Zaloom, Beakman of Beakman's World, will give four performances each day, Saturday through Tuesday. An autograph session will follow each performance.

The MOSI 5000, a 5K race and 1-mile walk, will begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at MOSI. Coast 107.3, Paul Mitchell Salon Haircare and Powerade are sponsoring the race. Registration costs $12 and forms are available at NationsBank and MOSI. The Coast WCOF-FM 107.3 will broadcast live from the scene on Sunday.

Throughout the weekend, artist Barbara Wallace will autograph the poster she created for MOSI Madness. Her work depicts endangered Florida animals and habitats.

Kathy Evison, helmswoman Lonnie Henderson on SeaQuest, will appear from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Florida, Our Environment. She will informally discuss her experiences, sign autographs and pose for pictures.

AT A GLANCE

MOSI Madness 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. MOSI admission costs $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, college students with ID and children 13-18; $5 for children 2-12. MOSIMAX costs $6 for adults; $5 for seniors, college students and children 13-18; $4 for children 2-12. A combo ticket for MOSI and MOSIMAX costs $11 for adults; $9 for seniors, college students and children 13-18; $7 for children 2-12. MOSIMAX opens Saturday. Guests who bring a recyclable, Publix-brand milk cap Saturday or Sunday receive half-off admission. Call 987-6300.

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