Bartow, Fla. (Dec. 2, 2015) – Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:
· December’s Family Program – Curators of Curiosity – All Month
o Uncover kid-friendly activities at the Polk County History Center. Can you feel it in the air? Winter is certainly drawing near. Although Polk seems to escape much of the bitter cold, it is still fun to celebrate. Explore the history of the winter solstice and the allure of citrus during the season. Visit the Children’s Discovery Room to begin your quest and later you can create a citrus bird feeder, a Popsicle stick snowman or an ornament for our Christmas tree.
· No Lunch and Learn for the Month of December
Lunch and Learn programming goes on hiatus this month as we encourage our friends of the museum to spend time with loved ones during this season of celebration. Please consider a visit to the Historical and Genealogical Library to explore your own history and preserve it for generations to come. Call LuAnn Mims or Dorinda Morrison-Garrard at (863) 534-4380 and begin your journey.
The Lunch and Learn schedule for 2016 includes:
§ Jan. 19 – Florida Citrus Crate Labels: Florida’s First Billboards
§ Feb. 16 – The Legacy of Spessard Lindsey Holland
§ March 15 – They Dared to Dream: Women Who Shaped Florida History
§ April 19 – Avon Park Army Airfield: Florida during World War II
§ May 17 – Polk’s Jewish Families: 1925 – Today
§ June 21 – Cypress Gardens: America’s Tropical Wonderland
§ July 19 – Polk Voting Trends: Past, Present and Future
§ Aug. 16 – Florida’s Evolving Springs
§ Sept. 20 – Voices from Mariel: The Mariel Boatlift 1980
§ Oct. 18 – John Vincent Atanasoff: Forgotten Father of the Computer
§ Nov. 15 – The Other War of 1812: Florida’s Patriot War
· Now Through Dec. 12 – Festival of Wreaths and Silent Auction
o The Fifth Annual Festival of Wreaths and Silent Auction continues through Dec. 12. Get in the holiday spirit with a visit to the History Center to view the 42 beautiful wreaths adorning the doorways and rotunda area throughout the museum. Decorators include local organizations, individuals and all five Polk constitutional officers. Place your bid in the 2015 silent auction atwww.polkhistorycenter.orgby clicking on the Festival of Wreaths icon.
· Dec. 19 , 11 a.m. – Architectural Tour
o Join us for a family friendly architectural tour of the History Center and learn more about neoclassical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. The architectural tour is on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.
· Holiday Closings
o The History Center will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas, and will reopen Dec. 26.
o The History Center will be closed Jan. 1 in observance of New Year’s Day and will reopen Jan. 2.
· On-going Temporary Exhibits
Very Much A Lady: Lifestyle and Fashion of the Proper Woman, 1900-1920
December is your last chance to return to a more elegant and stylish era with this exhibit featuring unique and vintage couture fashion and accessories. The exhibit is curated from the private collection of Polk County resident Joanna Godwin. Mrs. Godwin leads personalized tours of the exhibit every Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The exhibit is on display through the end of the month.
o Good Reasons for Good Roads: Celebrating the Dixie Highway at 100 Years
The exhibit explores early highways, the people who travelled them and a new era of development in the state’s history. Artifacts in the exhibit include dozens of mid-century souvenirs from Polk’s early attractions and the first automobile license plate ever issued in Polk. The Dixie Highway’s initial route officially opened in 1915 and transformed the cultural landscape of Florida. The exhibit will be on display through August.
o Victory Florida: Honoring Polk County’s WWII Contributions
The exhibit tells the story of ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things for their country during World War II. This year was the 70th anniversary of V-Day, or Victory Day, which marked the end of World War II in 1945. Victory Florida: Honoring Polk County’s WWII Contributions will be on display through September.
About the Polk County History Center: The History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visitwww.polkhistorycenter.org or call(863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All events and programming are free and open to the public.