Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures and Holiday Traditions Through the Decades

Homestead National Monument of America will be presenting the Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures and Holiday Traditions Through the Decades, November 25, 2016 through January 2, 2017. These sparkling holiday displays showcase ethnic traditions of the people who came to places like Nebraska so they could file Homestead Claims and become landowning citizens of the United States. These holiday displays which include trees, ornaments and other festive decorations will be at both the Homestead Education and Heritage Centers. Cultures represented include Czech, French, German, Hispanic, Irish, Polish, Scottish, Swedish, and Welsh.

New this year is a special exhibition titled “Americana Holidays Décor through the Decades”. This display at the Education Center contains 15 trees. The display highlights the different traditions through the decades starting with the 1860’s all the way through the present. Bob and Lorine Mares, from Wilbur, Nebraska developed this display to showcase their more than 20 years of seriously collecting holiday ornaments and trees. In addition to the holiday displays, there will be special presentations on November 27, December 4 and 11, 2016:

Sunday, November 27, 2016, at 2 p.m:
Fun, Farces and Frivolity – Presented at the Education Center one can learn about the games, dances, and entertainment enjoyed by people living on the plains in the early 1900’s. This interactive, entertaining presentation will be given by Marla Matkin, a re-enactor and descendent of homesteaders. Audience members will get to be a part of the show, learning games and dances firsthand that would have brought enjoyment to homesteaders at the turn of the century.

Sunday, December 4, 2016, at 2 p.m:
Midwinter with the Scots –Bagpiping, stories, singing and tea are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Lori McAlister a renowned researcher on Scottish traditions led a project to capture the oral history of Scottish holiday memories from Jean Drysdale Granlund, Fred Scott, Christine Cathro and Ken Bunnell. They will join her to share their Scottish stories, traditions and memories. Kevin Arnold, a Highland Bagpiper will pipe in the group. Traditional Scottish tea will be served after the presentation.

Sunday, December 11, 2016, at 2 p.m:
Music Around the World - With over a dozen instruments and stories about each, David Marsh a musician from Denton, Nebraska will entertain with music from around the world at the Education Center. This multi-cultural program is a musical exposé of the influence that immigrants from around the world have had on our American culture. Audiences learn about the creativity of the “folk” who developed the instruments and musical styles, the role music has played in traditional cultures and the musical influences various cultures have had on one another in America.

Last updated: November 16, 2016

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