Celebrate the New Year at Burpee Museum

Staff Report

From 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 31, Rockford’s Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., will host “New Year’s Around the World.” Admission to the event is free with museum admission ($8 ages 13 and older; $7 ages 4-12; and free for members).

The museum will come alive with a host of activities to mark the arrival of 2014.

Rockford has many international contacts, and at New Year’s Around the World, families will experience this connection. Learn of New Year’s traditions, superstitions and good-luck charms from Rockford’s six Sister Cities.

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 hour, ginkgo leaves will be dropped over the railing from the second floor onto the revelers gathered on the first floor. Following the cascade of leaves, museum guests will parade through the museum to the third floor.

On the third floor, participants may watch a variety of folk dance performances, including the Amici Italian Youth Dance Troupe at 1:15 p.m., Krakowiaczek Polish Youth Dancers at 2:15 p.m., Native American dancers at 3:10 p.m., and Rockford Dance Company’s Cardio Tap Class at 3:30 p.m.

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.

A special exhibit of items from the Permanent Collection will be featured. This includes the countries of Australia, France, China, Japan, New Guinea, Philippines, Indonesia and Bali, and numerous items from the continent of Africa. In addition, a number of masks from the Inuit culture of North America will be displayed. Besides these hand-crafted items, African animals from the permanent collection will also be exhibited.

Throughout the museum, the Sister City Committees will have displays of the geography and culture of their area. The six cities are Brovary, Ukraine; Changzhou, China; Borgholm, Sweden; Ferentino, Italy; Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan; and Tasza’r, Hungary. There will also be a display on Poland.

In the Mahlburg Auditorium, there will be stations with a variety of crafts for the entire family. With the crafts you make at Burpee, you will be ready to ring in the New Year.

Museum hours are: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., daily. Free parking is available. Call (815) 965-3433 or visit burpee.org for more details.

From the Jan. 1-6, 2014, issue

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