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34th Annual Holiday Exhibit - Signs of the Seasons

through January 18, 2014

10 AM to 4 PM Monday through Saturday

Christmas and childhood usually evoke happy memories. The Fenton History Center's 34th annual holiday exhibit is about the nostalgia of those childhood Christmas times.

When one thinks of the holidays - food and family memories come to mind. The sounds of familiar carols bring back many memories of holiday celebrations. The traditions that we carry forward each year are featured in the "Signs of the Season" exhibit. Why do we have a tree in our house over the holiday? Why do we eat certain foods? Where did Santa Claus come from? All these and other questions are answered in the mansion-wide exhibit. The exhibit opens today and is up through Doors Open Jamestown on January 18.

Exhibit designer Sara Reale said, "As we age, the holiday spirit sometimes fades. I want our holiday visitors to experience 'deja vous' if only for a second, when they see the exhibit. I want them to feel like they did as children. More often than not I see visitors faces light up when they see certain parts of the exhibit like the aluminum tree forest and the front hall case filled with ornaments and other small items that seemed to be in everyone's Grandmother's house

A special feature of the holiday exhibit this year is the winter village. It is comprised of more than 50 buildings, cars and people. The village is alive with activities and lights.

Many elementary classrooms have booked holiday tours of the exhibit. Reale said, "The exhibit meets a number of the New York state social studies curriculum standards for the elementary grades. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and the celebration of the Three Kings are part of the exhibit. It is a fun field trip for the classes. They seem to really enjoy the size of the Mansion and the beauty of the exhibits."

Why let the children have all the fun? New this year are candlelight tours of the mansion on Saturday evenings. They are open to all. The tours are held every Saturday night in December at 7 p.m. The cost is $10 for Fenton members and $15 for non-members. Memberships are available prior to the tour start. The Fenton History Center is located at 67 Washington St., just south of the Washington Street Bridge past the Forest Avenue traffic light. The museum is open year-round Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 664-6256.