New Year’s celebration at Burpee Dec. 31

Staff Report

Celebrate the New Year — naturally — at Rockford’s Burpee Museum of Natural History.

Join the museum from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 31, for “Celebrate Around the World.” The museum will come alive with a host of activities to mark the arrival of 2013.

Learn of New Year’s traditions, superstitions and good-luck charms from Rockford’s six Sister Cities. Where did New Year’s Eve celebrations begin? Where did the tradition of parades begin?

With your New Year’s Eve crafts of crowns, hats, various rattles including turtle rattles, you will be ready to celebrate. On each hour, the New Year will be celebrated at one of Rockford’s Sister Cities. With the striking of the hours, ginkgo leaves will be dropped over the railing from the second floor on the revelers. With this cascade, you will parade to music, shouting “Happy New Year!” through the museum to the third floor.

On the third floor, participants may watch performances of the Rockford Dance Company’s Junior Co. They will perform a variety of dances from the Sister Cities.

Also on the third floor, the Native American Awareness Committee will have a display of special Native American items. They will be explaining the Native American 13 lunar month year and how that corresponds to the 13 plates of the turtle’s shell. The wigwam will be open for stories of the turtle and the New Year.

Throughout the museum, the Sister Cities Committee will have displays of the geography and culture of the six Sister Cities. The six cities are Schwieberdingen, Germany (Belvidere); Vaux-le-Pe’rnil, France (Belvidere); Brovary, Ukraine; Changzhou, China; Borgholm, Sweden; Ferentino, Italy; Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan; and Tasza’r, Hungary.

In the Mahlburg Auditorium, there will be stations with a variety of crafts for the entire family. With the crafts you made at Burpee, you will be ready to ring in the New Year at 5 p.m. with the folks celebrating “across the Pond” in Paris and our Sister City Vaux-le-Pe’nil, using natural confetti.

A special display of items from the museum’s permanent collection will also be offered.

All activities included in the Special Festival Fee of $5. Free to members. “Rick’s Picks: A Lifelong Affair With Guitars & Music” is offered for an additional $10 per adult.

Rick’s Picks,” which opened Aug. 11, tells the story of Cheap Trick leader, songwriter and guitarist Rick Nielsen’s passions for guitars, music and rock and roll, revealing many surprises and secrets along the way.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $9 for kids 6-17. Admission is free for members. The annual membership fee is $70 for families or grandparents and $60 for an individual. Free parking is available at Burpee Museum, 737 N. Main St.

For more information, call (815) 965-3433 or visit

From the Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013, issue

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