Holiday presentations coming to Homestead

November 15, 2018 GMT

Homestead National Monument of America will present its annual Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures Nov. 23-Jan. 6. These holiday displays showcase the ethnic traditions of people who came to places like Nebraska to file Homestead claims and become landowning citizens of the United States.

The displays, which include trees, ornaments and other decorations, will be at the park’s Education Center and Heritage Center. Cultures represented include Czech, French, German, Jewish, Irish, Polish, Scottish, Swedish and Welsh.

In addition to the holiday displays, there will be special presentations on Nov. 25, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9.

Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m.: “Find Your Roots” – presented by Beth Sparrow of the Nebraska State Genealogical Society. This will be an introductory genealogy program. Beth Sparrow has been researching her family for over 16 years. She began working as a professional genealogist in 2012. She researches for clients and gives presentations on genealogy topics. She is also an avid cemetery photographer.

Sparrow has spoken at places across the region, including libraries and genealogy societies. She is a member of the Polk County Historical Society, the Association for Professional Genealogists and the National Genealogical Society. Sparrow also serves as president, conference coordinator, and area representative for the Nebraska State Genealogy Society.

Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.: “Music Around the World.” With over a dozen instruments and stories about each, David Marsh, a musician from Denton, will entertain with music from around the world at the Education Center. This program is a musical exposé of the influence that immigrants from around the world have had on American culture.

Audiences learn about the creativity of the “folk” who developed the instruments and musical styles, the role music has played in traditional cultures and the musical influences various cultures have had on one another in America. Funding for this program comes from the support of Humanities Nebraska.

Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.: “Die Singenden Wanderers German Men’s Choir.” Hear the melodies and musical antics of Die Singenden Wanderers German Men’s Choir at the Homestead Education Center. This group of men performs for the German-American Society in Omaha and tour groups that come through the Omaha area. They also compete in contests in Germany. The group performs in both German and English.

“This fun holiday exhibition showcases the rich traditions that the various ethnic groups that settled Middle America practiced during the holiday season,” said Homestead Superintendent Mark Engler. “We invite everyone to come and experience this fun yet educational show over the holidays.”