STURBRIDGE, Mass.--An old-fashioned Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season at the largest living history museum in the area.
"A lot of people remember coming to Old Sturbridge Village on a grammar school field trip, but it’s always different," says Tom Kelleher, curator of the museum that depicts life in the 1800s. "In early New England, Thanksgiving was one of the big, big holidays. It was a big family holiday, much as it remains today."
So, this coming weekend, visitors will be treated to special events, such as a presentation of a traditional turkey shoot. "There would be postings made in papers usually saying there would be a turkey shoot for different prizes," explained Derek Heidemann, a costumed interpreter, as he demonstrated how a traditional musket, aimed at a paper target, works.
Visitors can also head into a warm home to see a Thanksgiving meal being prepared. On
Saturday, folks can see a village wedding.
The museum is also gearing up for a busy December featuring a weekend "Christmas by Candlelight" program that explores the origins of certain holiday traditions. "Things like, what is wassail anyway? And, how come they have a yule log? And where do Christmas trees come from?" explains Kelleher. "We have a gingerbread contest, carolers caroling. If there’s snow, there will be a sleigh ride around the common."
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