Photo by Curt Yeomans
The Road to Tara Museum, in Jonesboro, has announced it will offer a special Leap Year admission deal to modern day “Rhetts” and “Scarletts” on Feb. 29. One-half of every couple that comes to the museum on that day will gain free entry.
There is an old tradition in the British Isles that, once every four years — on a “Leap Year” — a woman gets to take the bull by its horns, and put a man, who has dragged his feet on offering up a proposal, in his place.
Sounds like something Scarlett O’Hara would jump to do to that rascally Rhett Butler.
The “Leap Year” gets its name because it is the one year, in a four-year period, where the calendar contains an extra day. February traditionally has 28 days, but in “Leap Years,” it has 29 days. This is one of those special years.
“According to tradition, in the British Isles, Leap Year is the one day that traditional roles are kind of reversed, in that women can propose to men,” said Rebekah Cline, spokesperson for the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Road to Tara Museum, in Jonesboro, announced, this week, that it will offer a special once-in-four years admission package for couples. The museum will commemorate the “Leap Year,” and that old British Isles tradition, by admitting one-half of every couple that pays a visit to the “Gone With The Wind” shrine on Feb. 29, for free.
In short, every two people that come to the museum together get in for the price of one person, which is $7 for adults, and $6 for seniors and children. “It’s also a really fun way to celebrate the O’Hara family’s Irish roots [from “Gone With The Wind”],” said Cline, referring to the fact that Ireland, where Scarlett’s family was from, is part of the British Isles.
The museum is filled with images and figurines, which show Rhett and Scarlet together, as a couple. One feature is a wall that shows various covers of the book, “Gone With The Wind,” from around the world. Many of the covers feature the book’s main couple together.
Some of those depictions are inspired by the film version of the story, with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Others show more ethnic depictions of the couple.
The gift shop at the museum also sells several items that depict the couple together, including lunch boxes that feature the images of Gable and Leigh clasped in a close, passionate embrace.
The museum is taking its British Isles Leap Year tradition tie-in a step further by pitching it specifically to women. Cline said females are being asked to “propose” a Feb. 29 trip to the museum to their significant others.
Of course, any woman who, in turn, wants to take the tie-in another step forward, by proposing marriage to her boyfriend at the museum, on that day, is certainly encouraged to do so, the museum spokesperson added.
“That certainly would be a fun story to tell, so, of course, we hope for that [to happen],” Cline said. “We do get contacted a couple of times a year, usually by people that are interested in proposing to their significant other at the museum, so we would love if someone came and chose that day.”
The museum is located in the old Train Depot, at 104 North Main Street, in Jonesboro, and is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m., to 5:30 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m. Call (770) 478-4800, for more information.