By Polly Keary, Editor
A new holiday event is coming to Monroe this year; the chance to experience Christmas the way it was celebrated when Monroe was settled.
The Western Heritage Center, the historical museum on the fairgrounds, is decorating inside and out for Christmas, and the last three Saturday before Christmas is open from 5-8 p.m. with lots of activities, sights and sounds from yesteryear.
“We want to have an old-fashioned Christmas,” said Jerry Senner, director of the museum, which is stuffed with artifacts from home and work life in the early days of settlement in the Sky Valley. “We are going to offer cookies, and coffee, and cider, and hot chocolate, and donuts and all that, and we are going to have hay rides and we are going to decorate the building.”
An antique tractor will tow a hay wagon around the fairgrounds, and Senner hopes that by then, his red surrey, a three-benched, open-walled buggy with a Briggs and Stratton engine and a tasseled roof, will be running in order to give people rides in that, as well.
There will be music from the Monroe Community Concert Band and from a solo pianist, playing old-fashioned Christmas carols. And there will be activities for kids, such as bobbing for apples and decorating cookies, and making cranberry and popcorn chains to decorate their trees at home.
Senner is still putting together the planned activities, focusing on things kids might have done in the valley 100 years ago.
Everyone will be able to see the valley the way it looked 100 years ago, and compare it with what it looks like today; a panoramic image of the town in 1913 is hanging on the wall now, soon to be joined by a panoramic photo of the same spot taken this year.
Admission will be free, although donations are accepted, and people are encouraged to bring a donation of food or toys for the food bank.
Senner hopes to make it an annual event.