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Contact: Amber Kirkendall, 402-223-3514
Beatrice, Nebraska – Go back in time this holiday season and see a beautiful tapestry of winter traditions of those who lived on the plains at the beginning of the Homestead Era. Homesteading brought a variety of cultural and ethnic traditions to the United States. The Homestead Act was an invitation to immigrants to come to the United States and seek 160 acre homesteads, while simultaneously attaining their resident requirement for citizenship. Our Winter Festival held November 29th thru January 5th, remembers this rich heritage and celebrates the cultures of those who settled the Great Plains, as well as the rich culture that existed in the region prior to European settlement.
The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures features decorated trees and tabletop displays featuring ornaments and hand-made crafts that reflect the spirit of hope, humor, traditions, and generosity, which characterized winter celebrations in the West.
“The inclusive language of the Homestead Act of 1862 attracted people from all over the world. The various displays and performances provide a festive and educational way to celebrate the holiday season.” Said, Homestead National Monument of America Superintendent Mark Engler.
In addition to the displays, there will be special programs presented on December 1st, December 8th, and 15th, 2019. These programs will be at the Education at 2:00pm on their respective dates. They include:
Sunday, December 1 Songs to Celebrate Hanukkah: Tuffy Group
The Tuffy Group will perform is a 3-person klezmer band from Omaha, NE. Klezmer music was brought to the United States by European Jewish immigrants. The Tuffy group will play songs that celebrate the Hanukkah traditions.
Sunday, December 8 Traditional Swedish Folk Dancing: Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers
The Lindsborg Swedish Folk Dancers hail from Lindsborg KS. There ensemble features 5 violins, and 17 dancers. The group will perform traditional Swedish Folk dances in historic costumes.
Sunday, December 15 Native American Songs and Winter Traditions: Jerome Kills Small
Jerome Kills Small, Red Robin, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota is Oglala Sioux. He will sing a variety of songs and will discuss the winter traditions of the Lakota.
Remember, Homestead National Monument of America has an exciting schedule of events planned for 2020. Keep up with the latest information by following us on Twitter (HomesteadNM) and Facebook (Homestead National Monument of America).
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 420 parks in the National Park System and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/
Last updated: December 9, 2019