Living History October 2003

Living History October 2003

Fall 2003's best bets for celebrating your heritage and reliving history.

Baltimore, Maryland, A Singing Salute

Warm up your vocal cords Sept. 12-14 for Star-Spangled Banner Weekend, an annual event commemorating the 1814 bombardment of Fort McHenry and the birth of the US national anthem. On Friday, join re-enactors as they transfer a 30×42-foot replica of the original Star-Spangled Banner from the 1793 home of Mary Pickersgill (now The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and War of 1812 Museum), where the flag was made, to Fort McHenry, where it flew during the Battle of Baltimore and inspired Francis Scott Key’s famous poem. Spend the rest of the weekend watching fireworks and War of 1812 battle re-enactments at Fort McHenry. For event details, contact the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association at (877) 225-8466 or <www.baltimore.org>.

Rochester, Indiana, Frontier Living

Travel back to pre-1840 Fulton County Sept 20-21 at the 28th Annual Trail of Courage Living History Festival. Visit re-creations of French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 encampments. Then, mosey over to the Chippeway Village to see a log-cabin trading post and 1832 post office. Watch a frontier fashion show and demonstrations of early American skills such as broom making, candle dipping and spinning. A variety of foods, from buffalo burgers to Indian fry bread to apple dumplings, will tempt your taste buds. And enjoy period music and dance all weekend. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6 to 12. For more information, contact the Fulton County Historical Society at (574) 223-4436 or <www.htctech.net/~fchs>.

Hartford, Connecticut, Your Grandparents’ Martha Stewart

Does the name Wallace Nutting ring a bell? If not, take a closer look at your ancestors’ art and furniture collections. During the early 20th century, Nutting, a Harvard-educated Congregational minister, left the pulpit to build a home-decorating empire. With his reproduction furniture line and his hand-tinted platinum prints depicting pastoral landscapes and Colonial interiors — of which he sold more than 5 million to the middle class — Nutting created a Colonial Revival craze and became a household name. Nutting’s own collection of early American furniture, ironwork and household wares was unrivaled. Now, you can see Nutting’s collection, reproduction furniture, vintage photographs and architectural plans through Oct. 19 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art’s exhibit Wallace Nutting and the Invention of Old America. A re-creation of Nutting’s 1916 home will be on display at the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield. Admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $11 for students ages 13 and up, and includes admission to the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum. For event details, contact the Wadsworth Atheneum at (860) 278-2670 or <www.wadsworthatheneum.org>, and the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum at (860) 529-0612 or <www.webb-deane-stevens.org>.

Springfield, Illinois, Highway to History

Get your kicks Sept 26-28 at the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival. It’s a car lover’s paradise, with hundreds of classics cruising downtown Springfield. But you don’t have to like cars — or even remember the historic highway — to enjoy this family event. Cut a rug at one of five outdoor stages playing hits of the 1950s and ’60s. And buy a ticket to the “World’s Largest Sock Hop,” featuring Danny & The Juniors, The Shirelles and The Buckinghams. When you dance up an appetite, try a Cozy Dog, the original corn dog (invented on Route 66). And don’t head home without an old road sign or a trip to the 66 swap meet. Most of the weekend’s events are free. Sock-hop tickets, purchased via Ticketmaster <www.ticketmaster.com>, cost between $15 and $50. For event details, call (866) 783-6645 or visit <www.route66fest.com>.

Hawaii, Hula Heritage

If you’re lucky enough to be in Hawaii this fall, be sure to check out Aloha Festivals, an annual event in September and October that honors Hawaii’s heritage with parades, street parties, concerts and family activities on every island. This year’s theme is “Hula Lives Through Its People,” and special guest Hikawa Kiyoshi, a popular Japanese singer, will perform a series of concerts. For a full list of festival events, call (808) 589-1771 or visit <www.alohafestivals.com>.

Chicago Illinois, Latin Legacies

Discover Chicago’s rich Latin American culture Sept. 15-Oct 15 during Hispanic Heritage Month, sponsored by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Explore the shops and restaurants of Pilsen and Little Village, side-by-side Mexican-American communities, Sept. 20 with Chicago Neighborhood Tours (312-742-1190, <www.chgocitytours.com>, $25 admission for adults and $20 for seniors and students). And view Chicago through the eyes of two renowned photographers: longtime Chicago resident Carlos Flores, who documents the city’s Puerto Rican community, and Brazilian-born Sebastiao Salgado, who captures the effects of mass migration worldwide. See Flores’ exhibition, at City Gallery (on the first floor of the Historic Water Tower), through Sept. 29 and Salgado’s exhibition, at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Harold Washington Library Center, through Sept. 28. For more information about these and other Hispanic Heritage Month events, contact the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at (312) 744-6630 or <www.cityofchicago.org/tour/culturalcenter>.

From the October 2003 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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