Ethnic Heritage Museum celebrates holiday traditions Dec. 5-6

From press release

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” and the six galleries at the Ethnic Heritage Museum (EHM) would like to show your whole family why they think so. From noon to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5-6, each of the six ethnic galleries will be decorated in the holiday traditions of that country.

EHM, 1129 S. Main St., Rockford, is a six-room house built in the 1850s. A distinct ethnic group sponsors each room or gallery in the house: African-American, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish and Hispanic. A visit to each gallery gives insight into the values and traditions of each of these groups.

Holiday displays based on ethnic themes for the six galleries are:

African-American Gallery—Santas from around the world and a Kwanzaa display.

Irish Gallery—Holly and mistletoe, window candle guiding Christ child.

Italian Gallery—Christmas Ce`ppo, a visit from LaBefana and Christmas angels.

Lithuanian Gallery—Unique straw Christmas ornaments.

Polish Gallery—Typical Polish crèche and lovely Polish ornament tree.

Hispanic Gallery—Traditional Hispanic nativity scene and poinsettia tree.

Children will enjoy a visit from Santa, and each gallery will decorate their tree with unique Christmas ornaments representing their country. Can you guess the one country that does not celebrate the holidays with a traditional Christmas tree?

Tasty ethnic treats and hot chocolate will be available for sampling. Visitors are encouraged to check out the bazaar of reasonably-priced holiday ethnic treats.

The “Holiday Traditions” exhibits will be on display the entire month of December.

Admission to this holiday experience is $5 for families or $3 for individuals.

The museum is handicap accessible. Group tours can be arranged by contacting the museum at (815) 962-7402 or by e-mailing


From the December 2-8, 2009 issue

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