See sparkling decorations from many countries showcasing ethnic traditions at both the Education Center and Heritage Centers at Homestead National Monument of America, from November 23, 2012 through December 30, 2012. The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures celebrates the winter traditions of people who lived on the Great Plains during the homesteading era.Decorated trees and tabletop displays feature ornaments and hand-made crafts that reflect the spirit of hope, humor, traditions, and generosity which characterized settlers of the West. The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures event will lead into the 150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act commemoration in 2013, the Year of the Homesteader. All programs and activities are free.
In addition to the displays, there will be special programs.These programs include:
November 25 Heaven's Bells Bell Choir, 2 p.m. (Education Center) Listen to the music of the beautiful bells.The first Bell Choir came to the United States from England in 1836.The Lancashire ringers toured the United States with P.T. Barnum so many homesteaders would have had an opportunity to enjoy this music.
December 2 1860s Christmas in America, 2 p.m. (Heritage Center) This family-friendly afternoon will focus on a typical Christmas Holiday on the Great Plains.Come decorate a tree as they would have in the 1860s and make decorations as the homesteaders would have made.Learn more about this Holiday through a reading of women's diaries sharing their holiday experiences.Compare that to our Holidays today.
December 9 Influences of Hispanic Culture on the Great Plains, 2 p.m. (Education Center) Linda Garcia from Omaha will be sharing how the Hispanic Culture celebrated the holidays.She will tell the story of the history of the poinsettia and lead a Mexican paper cutting activity.