Ethnic Heritage Museum to ‘Celebrate Our Heritage’

The Ethic Heritage Museum presents “Celebrate Our Heritage,” a special family event, at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 29 at Cliffbreakers, 700 W. Riverside Blvd. The event will celebrate the six original ethnic groups that founded Rockford, as well as several other ethnic groups.

Guests are encouraged to wear hats and costumes reflecting their heritage to this family-friendly celebration. “Celebrate Our Heritage” features Sunday dinner at 3 p.m., hat-making for children, international hat boxes created by area artists, entertainment from all six ethnic groups, plus a special visit from Rockford native, actress Susan Saint James.

On display will be a collection of unusual hats gathered during a lifetime of global travel by Constance Miller, mother of Susan Saint James and Mercedes Dewey. “Celebrate Our Heritage” was inspired by Nana’s Hats, a children’s book recently self-published by Dewey, that tells the story of her mother and her unique hats from around the world.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children. Group tables, sponsorships and display areas are also available for purchase. For more information or reservations, visit or call 289-3551. All proceeds from Celebrate Our Heritage benefit the Ethnic Heritage Museum.

There will also be a book signing event for Nana’s Hats Saturday, Oct. 28, from from 1 to 2 p.m. at Spectrum School, 2909 N. Main St., Rockford with author Mercedes Dewey, Susan Saint James and their mother Constance Miller.

The Ethnic Heritage Museum, just south of Davis Park at 1129 S. Main St. in Rockford, features a room for each of the six primary immigrant groups that settled southwest Rockford: African-American, Irish, Lithuanian, Polish, Italian and Hispanic. The Museum is open 2-4 p.m., Sundays, and tours may be arranged upon request by calling 962-7402. Memberships start at $15 for individuals and $25 for families. Daily admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children younger than 12.

From the Oct. 25-31, 2006, issue

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