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Delight in Victorian holiday cheer with Merry & Bright event on Dec. 14

Delight in the spirit of the holidays at Merry & Bright: A Victorian Christmas from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Downers Grove Museum campus. This free family event will feature historic sights and sounds of Victorian Christmas traditions. Activities will take place both indoors and outdoors at the Downers Grove Museum campus located at 831 Maple Ave. in Downers Grove.

Visitors will learn about Christmas traditions of the past as they explore the holiday-decorated Victorian Blodgett House. Decorated by The Questers of Downers Grove, the house will feature trees and trimmings that reflect the 1890's Victorian era.

Felicia Camacho, Recreation Supervisor at the Downers Grove Museum, is excited to expand the celebration this season. "Each year, the Victorian Blodgett House is beautifully adorned for the holidays. Merry & Bright provides the opportunity to share this gem with the community and bring families together to create their own holiday traditions. We have added some new activities this year that visitors are sure to enjoy," said Camacho.

New this year is a Tree Decorating Contest open to resident groups and local businesses. Groups must register by Nov. 27 to participate and will be provided a donated tree from Cut Above Landscaping to decorate outdoors. Trees will be judged online by Downers Grove Museum Facebook followers and will be on display during Merry & Bright where the winner of each division will be announced.

Kids can spend some time with Santa Claus in the cozy parlor from 3 to 5 pm and 5:30 to 7pm. Parents, don't forget to bring your cameras! Warm up near a campfire while you toast marshmallows and stroll the park on a luminary walk. Hands-on activities will be available indoors and include a card-writing station, Christmas crafts and a scavenger hunt. Holiday snacks and beverages available for purchase from Wells Street Popcorn and the Questers Cookie Sale.

Throughout the museum campus, hear Victorian-era carols by the Canterbury Carollers from 3 to 5 pm. Attired in authentic period costume, the ensemble is a live tableau of Victorian carolers. Downers Grove North High School choir will perform throughout the campus from 5 to 6 pm.

Victorians were not only known for their enjoyment of Christmas food and festivities, but also for their generosity. "We wanted to continue the Victorian tradition of giving by bringing cheer to others in our community this holiday season," said Felicia Camacho.

Consider making a charitable donation to the giving tree located in the Montrew Dunham History Center from Dec. 7 to 21. Donations will be accepted for the West Suburban Humane Society and DuPage PADS.

Merry & Bright: A Victorian Christmas is sponsored by Cut Above Landscaping.

For more information about the Downers Grove Museum, programs and exhibits, visit http://www.dgparks.org or call 630.963.1309.


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