Historical Building Creates Holiday Cheer with Fun-Filled Events for the Whole Family

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Marketing/Public Relations, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – The State Historical Society will create some fun-filled holiday activities for the entire family this month.

The festivities kick of Saturday, December 18, 2004 at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines, with “Snowflake Saturday – A Flurry of Activities” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission for adults is free, children 2-14 is $2. Holiday dancers, live seasonal music, snowy stories and hands-on crafts for the entire family. Moms and dads can pile the kids into an antique sleigh for a professional holiday photo. Cookies and beverages will be available for purchase from Grounds for Celebration café.

On Tuesday, December 21, 2004 and Thursday, December 23, 2004, the Society will host “Cards, Boxes & Bows” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free to the public, which will have the opportunity at this event to make seasonal and New Year’s cards for U.S. service personnel. The cards will be collected and sent to those serving overseas.

Rounding out the holiday season December 28-30, 2004, the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre will present “Freedom Star: Gertie's Journey on the Underground Railroad.” Performances will be at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., with workshops following each performance at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Tickets are $5 each for the performances and workshops.

This dramatic story is based on a young slave girl who escaped from a Missouri farm and journeyed through Iowa on her way to freedom. The show includes live music, life-size hand and rod puppets, masks, and hand-dyed scenery! Workshops focus on the history of American music and on the creation and use of puppets.

In conjunction with the events, staff curators will be offering public tours of the permanent collection for the first time in the museum’s 114 years of being in existence. The tours will be held at 10:30 a.m. on December 18, 21 and 23, 2004; and at 1 p.m. on December 28-30, 2004. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under, and free for children 2 and under.

Tickets for these events, workshops and tours are available by calling 515-283-1757, visiting our web site on-line at www.iowahistory.org, or at Reflections of Iowa, the Museum Store in the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust. The behind-the-scenes tours are limited to groups of 20 so the public is encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. Museum tour proceeds will provide funding for care and preservation of the Historical Museum collection, while proceeds from the events will benefit SHSI. Tour participants may redeem their tickets at the Museum Store for a 10 percent discount on SHSI’s 2005 “Treasure the Times” calendar featuring historic images from the Society’s collection.

Beginning January 15, 2005, the tours will be held at 10:30 a.m. on the third Saturday of every month.

The State Historical Society of Iowa, established in 1857, has a dual mission of preservation and education. As a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy, SHSI preserves, protects and shares Iowa's historical resources. As an advocate of understanding Iowa's past, SHSI educates Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.






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