THE new £4.3million Experience Barnsley museum will open its doors with a colourful public celebration.

The Town Hall building will be swathed in a giant ribbon which members of the public, including dozens of schoolchildren from local schools, will be invited to ceremonially cut.

Thousands of visitors are expected to pack the new town square outside the Town Hall which will have a free children’s carousel, musical entertainment and attractions to represent Barnsley throughout the ages.

Attractions range from an animatronic dinosaur to giant stilt walking sportsmen.

The free attraction, which spans two floors of Barnsley’s distinctive Town Hall, opens at 2pm and will then be open seven days a week.

Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr Ken Richardson will be on hand to introduce Barnsley-born Capital FM presenter Simon Hirst, who will be delivering the countdown.

Cllr Steve Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Council said: "Experience Barnsley will be great fun for the whole family. Whether you’re interested in football, fashion, our industrial story or how our stone-age ancestors lived, there will be something for everyone.

"Many of the exhibits have been kindly donated. It really is a museum for the people by the people and I’d like to invite everyone to come along and join in the launch."

Among the exhibits close to the hearts of visitors is a much-loved children’s roundabout which operated in Barnsley Market for decades. The bus from the popular ride will be placed in the museum café for children to play on while the carousel horses on poles will be suspended from the ceiling.

The roundabout has been loaned by Stewart Robinson, whose family has run Robinson’s Family Funfairs for many years.

Stewart, who is Barnsley born and bred, said: "My father James bought the roundabout in 1959 when I was seven. Before that a company called Slaters had owned so the roundabout is getting on for being 100 years old.

"When the markets reopened in the 70s after a refurbishment, we put the roundabout inside the building which helped to preserve it as most fairground rides are outside in bad weather."

The roundabout remained in the market until last year when it became difficult to make it financially viable. Stewart, aged 61, was keen for it to remain in the town.

Are you heading down to see the opening at 2pm?