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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release November 24, 2008

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Celebrate “Holidays on the Trails” at WHTC Dec. 5-7

Santa photos, Kwanzaa, music, crafts, activities, Maid-Rite, 10 percent discount at store

(COUNCIL BLUFFS) – The Western Historic Trails Center will celebrate the season Dec. 5-7, 2008, when it presents “Holidays on the Trails,” a fun-filled event of shopping, crafts, music, movies, storytelling, quilts, Santa photos, Kwanzaa and more.

Shoppers will receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases (except for beverages and snacks) at the Trails West gift shop, which also offers tax-free shopping all year. WHTC is at 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs. The three-day event is free and open to the public. Call 712-366-4900 or visit www.iowahistory.org for more information.

In addition, the Atlantic, Iowa, Maid-Rite will be “On the Loose” with its mobile food trailer for patrons to buy Iowa-famous Maid-Rites, Mega-Rites, hot dogs, chili dogs, chili, chips and soft drinks, courtesy of Wyman Ford.

Following is the Holidays on the Trails three-day schedule:

Friday, Dec. 5, 2008

6-9 p.m.
Evening Jam Session – An evening jam session will kickoff the weekend, perfect for pickers and listeners who can only attend after daytime work hours.

Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008

9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shop locally, save 10 percent (except for beverages and snacks) and pay no sales tax at the Trails West gift shop. Free gift bag for purchases. All purchases are tax free all the time.

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Kwanzaa, an African-American year-end celebration, will be a featured presentation in the theater along with family activities. The Omaha Kwanzaa group will present information about this fast-growing festivity.

2 p.m.
Local author Jeff Barnes will present his latest offering, “Forts of the Northern Plains.” The history of forts is connected to those that preceded them and the book addresses that historical progression. Barnes will be available to sign copies of his book.

Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008

9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shop locally, save 10 percent (except for beverages and snacks) and pay no sales tax at the Trails West gift shop. Free gift bag for purchases. All purchases are tax free all the time.

11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
The holidays were important to pioneer families and WHTC staff will try to capture some of that experience through crafts and activities for children. The “Big Guy” in the red suit will be available for pictures.

1:30 p.m.
Saundra Leininger, WHTC museum guide, will share pioneer holiday traditions and celebrations. Some are still observed and some have disappeared over time.

3 p.m.
Coleen Wilbur, WHTC volunteer, will present “Pioneer Women and the Quilts They Made.” Quilts represented more than just handiwork – they were a comment on the social happenings of the time; changed as they crossed the country; and quilting bees served as social events.

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The Western Historic Trails Center is operated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. SHSI, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Please visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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