19TH CENTURY HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AT THE OLD COURTHOUSE
Contact: Rick Ziino, (314) 655-1725
Contact: Richard Fefferman, (314) 655-1600
The National Park Service will present the annual 19th Century Holiday Traditions at the Old Courthouse from November 24 to December 23, 2006. Holiday concerts and children’s activities will once again highlight this staple of the St. Louis holiday season. Special activities will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 24th and 25th, to mark the Grand Opening of the series of events.
Friday, November 24- Lighting of the 25 foot Victorian style tree will take place at 12 noon, with a concert by the St. Louis Brass Ensemble to immediately follow. Additional holiday concerts will take place at 1 PM by A Perfect Fifth woodwind quintet and at 2 PM by The Caroling Party, Victorian-era singers. Refreshments will be served.
Saturday, November 25- A holiday concert by the St. Louis Trio (flute, oboe, cello) will take place at 12 noon, followed by a “Holiday Traditions Ranger-led tour” at 1 PM and a “Victorian Holiday” puppet show by Bob Kramer Marionettes at 2PM.
Other themed holiday activities include:
Wednesday Concert Series (all at 12 noon)
November 29- Hazelwood Elementary Honors Orchestra
December 6- Mehlville High School Madrigal Ensemble
December 13- Trio d’Anches (flute, oboe, cello)
December 20- Gateway Brass
Saturday Holiday Traditions Programs
December 2- German Christmas Traditions will be featured, with the Ladies Choir of the German Cultural Society of St. Louis performing at 12 noon. They will be followed by a talk on the history of German traditions by Joe Simon at 1 PM and a concert by the German Cultural Society’s Children’s Dance Group at 2 PM.
December 9- French Christmas Traditions will be featured, including concerts by the children’s group Les Petits Chanteurs at 12 noon, at 1 PM a “Holiday Traditions Ranger-led tour” will take place, highlighting the French traditions and The Peacocks concert at 2 PM.
December 16 - A Civilian and Military Ball Living History program will begin at 10 AM with period dance-step lessons lasting until 12 noon. Music, dancing and historic vignettes by volunteers and staff dressed in period clothing will take place from 2:00 to 4:30 PM, and refreshments will be served. Music will be provided by the Independent Silver Cornet Band.
December 23- 19th Century Black American Holiday Traditions will be featured, paying tribute to Junkanoo through dancers, storytellers, and a costume workshop at 12 noon. Living history presentations on how the Buffalo Soldiers and Mary Robinson celebrated Christmas will be held at 1:00 PM, followed by a concert by the New Hope Baptist Church choir at 2:30 PM.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, established in 1935, is comprised of the Gateway Arch, Museum of Westward Expansion (under the Arch), and the Old Courthouse. This national park commemorates St. Louis' role as the gateway to the west in the 1800s and honors individuals such as Dred and Harriet Scott who sued for their freedom in the Old Courthouse.
The Old Courthouse is FREE and open to the public daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. For a free calendar of holiday activities call (314) 655-1600, or Voice/TTY Telecommunications Relay Service 7-1-1, or visit us at www.nps.gov/jeff.