GREAT FALLS, MONTANA
Walk in the footsteps of famous explorers Lewis and Clark. Exhibits and displays at the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center take you through the expedition that began in 1804 and ended in 1806. You can enjoy Sundays for free January 1-31, when the center will also host a film festival. Ethnography: A Legacy of Lewis and Clark will highlight the role President Jefferson played in supporting the collection of information about native peoples and the discoveries made by the famous navigators. Viewing the films is free, but the center encourages you to donate a nonperishable food item to the Great Falls Community Food Bank. See <visitmt.com> or call (406) 727-8733.
GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS
If you have ancestors who were forty-niners, here’s your chance to relive the excitement and exhilaration of James Marshall’s historic 1848 gold discovery that launched a frenzy of westward migration. Celebrate the anniversary of gold discovery in the United States at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park on Jan. 24. The park, which is home to the famous Sutter’s Mill, will be the site of Gold Discovery Day. Sit in on the Gold Rush Symposium with presentations given by renowned Gold Rush scholars and authors. Learn about tricks of the trade during the period by participating in demonstrations, and bring your genealogy records with you to do some research at the library. Visit <www.windjammer.net/coloma> or call (530) 295-2170.
WEST BRANCH, IOWA
PLAYING IN THE PAST
Do you find yourself in awe of the high-tech games and toys children and adults enjoy today? Ever wonder what happened to model soldiers, marbles and checkerboards? If so, take a step back in time and see how adults and kids entertained themselves in the 19th century. Let’s Play: Pastimes from the Past is part of a traveling exhibit visiting the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum Jan. 19-March 1. Learn about the fitness craze in America, the emergence of the female athlete and playtime costumes. You can view actual artifacts, as well as photos and documents. And if you’re no good at playing the role of the passive observer, jump in on an interactive matching memory game with illustrations of early sports and activities. Visit <www.hoover.nara.gov> or call (319) 643-5301.
You SAY You WANT A REVOLUTION?
Relive your Revolutionary roots at an authentic re-enactment of British and American soldiers preparing for and entering battle at the 26th Annual Revolutionary War Encampment. A component of the George Washington Birthday Celebration, the battle re-enactment takes place at Fort Ward Park on Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch as more than 250 troops make camp, demonstrate firearms, repair gear, hunt and showcase medical equipment. Women dressed appropriately for the period will illustrate how cooking gear was used to prepare meals for Washington’s men. At 2 p.m. the fife and drum corps will call the regiments to action with marching tunes. Call (703) 838-4848 or visit <www.washingtonbirthday.net>
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE
You’ll never look at your spice rack the same after participating in the Celebrations of Culture: Asian American at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Learn how simple spices helped to change cultures around the world. The two-week program from Feb. 2-15 will highlight more than cooking: A variety of cultural groups will also participate. The famed Indian Kalakriti dance troupe will perform and offer commentary on the dances at noon Feb. 2 and 9. Members from the Asian community in Milwaukee will speak about customs and culture. If the little ones want to learn about Asian traditions, they can join in a lunch-and-learn program available at the museum. Visit <www.mpm.edu> or call (414) 278-2702.
Spend a winter weekend learning about Native American culture and history. Visit Lake Cumberland State Resort Park Jan. 25-26 for Native American Weekend. Attend a slide presentation in which speakers play the role of those who journeyed on the Trail of Tears. Native Americans in traditional dress will perform dances and demonstrate pottery-making and craft techniques. Listen as they sing songs accompanied by conventional musical instruments. If you go, be on the lookout for deer and other creatures — the park is a haven for wildlife. Visit <www.kytourism.com/calendar> or call (800) 325-1709.
Immerse yourself in African-American culture and celebrate the power of unity at the Third Annual Florida African American Heritage Celebration. Pinewood Cultural Park, site of the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, the Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village, will host the event on Feb. 23. Treat yourself to jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues and reggae music while costumed dancers perform. Take notes during the ethnic cooking demonstrations, and browse the art show and marketplace. Storytelling and puppet shows will keep both young and old entertained. Go with an appetite: Ethnic food vendors will be on hand to serve up some delicious dishes. Call (727) 532-1698 or visit <www.pinellascounty.org/unity.htm>.
READY TO RIDE
See General Israel Putnam, George Washington’s right-hand man, repel British soldiers from the town of Greenwich as he did in 1779. Experience the thrill of a Revolutionary War battle set in a charming, historic town with New York City nearby. Known as the “Gateway to New England,” Greenwich is home to Putnam Cottage — the site of the Re-enactment of General Israel Putnam’s Historic Ride on Feb. 25. You’ll learn how Putnam lost his hat to a British bullet as he rode to Stamford with his troops. And you’ll see that actual hat, along with Colonial antiques and artifacts, at the cottage, which is open to visitors on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Call (203) 869-9697 or visit <www.tourism.stte.ct.us/events/feb02.asp>.
From the February 2002 issue of Family Tree Magazine