Museum bustling with activity
By Maggie Scheffer
For the Reporter
IRON RIVER — The Iron County Museum is bustling with activity in preparation for the 30th annual Christmas Tree Galleria to be held between Nov. 23 and Dec. 1.
More than 40 trees will don lights and decorations to the theme, “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.” Gift baskets are already wrapped, and raffle tickets will be on sale at the Iron County Chamber office and the museum office during business hours. In addition to the baskets, the museum has a beautiful quilt, donated by the Carrie Jacob Bond Quilters, which will be raffled separately, proceeds to support the upkeep of the Bond House at the museum.
New this year will be the Christmas Art Fest coinciding with the opening of the Galleria on Saturday, Nov. 23. Up to 30 artists and crafters will be on site at the museum throughout Heritage Hall and the LeBlanc Art Gallery from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A wide variety of locally produced gift items, together with the quilt and gift basket raffle and unique museum gift shop merchandise, promise to offer an opportunity to fulfill any shopper’s personal gift list while supporting the local economy.
Lunch items will be available for sale to vendors and shoppers on Nov. 23, as well as cookies and coffee each day during the Galleria week. A performance by David Ukleja on keyboard will add to festivities, followed by a program featuring music with Jim Detlaff and Miss Iron County, McKenna Kegley, and the annual ceremony honoring Iron County volunteers.
A sneak preview of the West End Players’ upcoming performance of “Matilda” will entertain visitors to the Galleria on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. The following night, Monday, Nov. 25, is planned for the popular “Family Fun Night” to be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. when families come together over games, food, and visits with Santa.
The museum will be open through the week including Thanksgiving Day for Galleria hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The traditional “Santa Lucia” procession marking the return of the light is being brought back to museum visitors on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. This ceremony honoring a brave and generous St. Lucy from the third century has strong associations for our local Scandinavian and Italian families. Traditional cardamom breads and cheese will be served after the candle-lit procession and musical performance.
Raffle tickets for the gift baskets will be available through Dec. 1, with the drawing of winners taking place that day during a 2 p.m. performance of “One Voice.” The festive venue is available through Dec. 7 for business and organizational holiday parties. Call 265-2617 for a reservation.
Christmas in Iron County is uniquely different with pre-holiday traditions such as the Christmas Tree Galleria at the Iron County Museum, and the downtown Iron River Holiday Parade in Lights. Make time for both and you will be making memories of two very special holiday events!