Holiday Happenings

G et you shopping done early so you can enjoy…

Many holiday events will light up the night in Granville leading up to Dec. 25, including open houses at the Slate Valley Museum and the Pember Library and Museum as well as music at the South Granville Congregational Church.

At the Pember

First up, Friday get your Christmas knowledge on with a lecture. Just down the street from the village Christmas tree, the Pember Library will present a holiday-themed lectured entitled: “Joyful Traditions: How the Dutch Brought Us Santa, Presents and Treats.”

The lecture takes place Dec. 10 starting at 6 p.m. when food historian Peter G. Rose will present a slideshow and talk regarding the history of Saint Nicholas. The discussion includes explanations of the way the figure was viewed, how he was brought to America in the 1600s and how he was transformed into Santa in the 1800s.

Drawing upon literature, religion, fine arts and Dutch food, Rose seeks to detail the story of Saint Nicholas’ generosity and its impact on our culture. Rose has lectured on a variety of topics relating to Dutch-American culinary history at places as the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art and the New York Historical Society, to name just a few locations.

Librarian Ardyce Bresett said she thinks the lecture should fascinate everyone. “I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

The Pember will be open from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 12 for a holiday open house. The event will feature a four-piece ensemble playing a short concert. Refreshments will be served.

At the Slate Valley Museum

The Slate Valley Museum’s annual open house takes place Dec. 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. The program’s theme “Christmas in Wales” will highlight the traditions brought to the area by the Welsh immigrant families who came to the area to work in the slate quarries.

Patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy their family stories in the museum’s festive environment as well as Welsh food prepared from recipes of Welsh descendants still living in the Slate Valley and make traditional crafts used by the Welsh to help celebrate Christmas and the new year.

Capping off the day will be a concert by the Green Mountain College Cantorion at 3 p.m. Led by professor Jim Cassarino the group will perform a selection of holiday favorites.

Museum Director Kathryn Weller said with generous grant support from the New York Council for the Humanities and the Shepard Broad Foundation the Slate Valley Museum is excited to offer this diverse programming inspired by the immigrant communities that came to the Slate Valley. Weller said she expects a great turnout for her first time experiencing this annual event.

“This program is a great way for visitors, both young and old, to discover the rich cultural heritage of our area. Immigrants from Wales started the flow of immigration to the Slate Valley and their culture is still visible in the community today,” she said.

For more information, visit the museum website at www.slatevalleymuseum.org or call the museum at 642-1417. For the most up-to-date information on programs and events at the Slate Valley Museum, follow it on Facebook and twitter.

The event is free and open to the public.

More at the SVM

With just days to go until the holiday patrons are reminded to save a little time and stop by the Slate Valley Museum to see a live dramatic reading of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” in the Claire O’Brien Room Saturday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m.

The Poultney Shakespeare on Main Street company will perform a costumed dramatic reading of this treasured classic in a festive holiday setting of a fully decked-out Slate Valley Museum.

“It really is a unique thing for us to be able to offer to the community. It’s a great way to kind of go outside our regular sphere of activity and work together with another organization that does so much in this area throughout the year,” Weller said.

“We’re helping to support the Shakespeare company by providing the venue. It’s a chance for our audience to maybe get to know about them and let people who know about the company maybe come and experience the Slate Valley Museum – it works out well for both of us,” Weller said.

Weller said the space would be set up to allow patrons to experience the performance in an intimate way.

The performance will be free and open to the public, but a good-will donation will gladly be accepted to help support the Shakespeare company, Weller said.

At the South Granville Congregational Church

The South Granville Congregational Church will host a singing/vocal event as those in attendance will sing through of Part One and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m.

Granville High School band director Crystal Everdyke will be directing the audience participation and performance accompanied by Geoffrey Gee. This event is open to the public and all singers are asked to bring their own copy of Messiah. 

People can call Everdyke at 642-0538 for more information.

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