An Old Fashioned Christmas party to be held at Old Independence Regional Museum

Old Independence Regional Museum will host its 3rd Annual Old Fashioned Family Christmas Party on Saturday, December 12th, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Admission is free for this event, but donations are always appreciated.  This is the final installment of the museum’s popular Family Day series for 2009.

“We envision an old fashioned Christmas as one where families come together to enjoy the stories, sights, and sounds of the season.  What would Christmas be without cookies and homemade ornaments and Christmas cards and mistletoe?  We look forward to sharing some of the Christmas traditions of the past with visitors of all ages and hope that generations of families will come out and share some old and make some new Christmas memories,” stated Amanda Nikkel, Volunteer Coordinator.

The morning will begin at 10 a.m. with a reading of some traditional Christmas stories in the Shawneetown exhibit room by one of the museum’s volunteers.  For $1.00 per person, visitors can participate in a “dessert walk” in the Barnes/Simmons Gallery at 10 a.m. and again at noon.  The winners will be able to choose from a collection of delicious, homemade desserts.

At 10:30 and again at 11:30 The Cobb Brothers will play in the Honkonen Program Center.   This group consists of Caleb Cobb, 15, on the fiddle, Samuel Cobb, 13, on the mandolin, and Nathan Cobb, 11, on the bass.  The Cobb Brothers play regularly at the Ozark Folk Center, Cash’s White River Hoedown, Silver Dollar City, and many other blue grass venues around the state.  In addition to many musical accomplishments, The Cobb Brothers are also state and national clogging champions.  These talented young men will be joined later in the their performance by Mountain View friends, accompanied by Joe Jewell on the guitar, for square dancing, jig dancing, waltzing, and two stepping.

Mark Rorie will be on hand at 10 a.m. to autograph copies of his new book The Polk Bayou Kids and The Secrets of the White River Monster .  Visitors are invited to enter a drawing to win autographed copies of the book.

Beginning at 11 and continuing until 1:15, visitors are invited to move through the museum to several stations where museum staff and volunteers will assist with decorating Christmas cookies, Christmas card making, and making angel and reindeer ornaments.  Visitors will also learn about the traditional “kissing ball” made with mistletoe and be able to make a small mistletoe bough to take with them and hang in their homes.

To close out the day, at 1:15 p.m. members from Batesville’s Chorale Society will give a performance of Christmas songs and lead a sing-along with visitors.

The museum gift shop will be open during the event. “Santa’s Helpers” will be on hand to assist children in gift selection for parents, grandparents, and siblings.  Free gift wrapping will accompany gift purchases.  The gift shop carries books and toys, as well as a variety of educational, local and handcrafted items many of which are priced for small pockets.

Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays.  Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children.  The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff.  Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.