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Merry and bright: “Five Places of Christmas” event planned for Dec. 4

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Holiday merriment is the theme for the annual “Five Places of Christmas” to be held Saturday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Newton and North Newton.

The joint open house will be hosted by the Bethel College Women’s Association, Carriage Factory Gallery, Harvey County Historical Museum, Kauffman Museum and Warkentin House. The event is free and open to the public.

Each of the five historical and cultural organizations will feature holiday decorating ideas, unique shopping opportunities and special entertainment.

Now in its eighth year, the “Five Places of Christmas” has become a local holiday tradition. Said Jennifer Mueller of the Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau, “The ‘Five Places of Christmas’ provide a warmhearted event that kicks off December with lots of bright merriment, for local residents and out-of-town visitors alike.”

Bethel College Goerz House (North Newton)

The Bethel College Women’s Association (BCWA) will again host their annual holiday bake sale in Goerz House located on the North Newton campus. Bethel College President Perry and Dalene White will greet visitors and are inviting guests to tour the Queen Anne-style house that now serves as the president’s residence.

BCWA was instrumental in restoring and furnishing the 1893 home. This year BCWA has decorated the house with Victorian-era antiques for “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.” BCWA members are famous for homemade holiday treats including zwieback and peppernuts from the Russian Mennonite tradition. “Come early for the best selection!” advised BCWA president Donna Becker.

Carriage Factory Art Gallery (Newton)

“Five Places” visitors always enjoy the elegant simplicity of the holiday decor at the Carriage Factory Gallery. Built in the 1880s to house a carriage-making business, the gallery now shows the work of local artists in addition to the current special exhibit.

During December, “E-ART-H & SKY” features the work of regional fiber artist Marilyn Grisham, with weavings that reflect the color and textures of the Kansas landscape. Grisham actively participates in regional and national exhibitions.

The gallery’s Christmas Shoppe carries selected art gifts in all price ranges. Gallery director Joe Loganbill invites everyone to join him for refreshments to toast the season in the historic setting of Newton’s carriage factory.

Harvey County Historical Museum (Newton)

Four-part harmony will be featured at 2 p.m. with a performance by The Fourmen. The men’s quartet will share gospel, bluegrass and holiday selections. The annual music-in-the-museum program is underwritten by Newton Medical Center. “We hope everyone will enjoy local music talent while viewing the traditional ornaments filling our Christmas tree,” said curator Kristine Schmucker.

December 4 will be the last day for the Harvey County Historical Museum’s special exhibition “An Accomplished Young Lady,” which features exquisite handwork, paintings and clothing from the museum’s collection. By highlighting the skills learned by young women through the past 125 years, the exhibit examines how society’s expectations of true womanhood have changed.

Kauffman Museum (North Newton)

The open house at Kauffman Museum, also on the Bethel College campus, will feature the newest special exhibition “KANSAS: Kids At Northridge Sharing Art and Story.” The collaborative exhibition features Kansas-themed projects created by Northridge Elementary School students.

The theme of “A Kansas Kid’s Christmas” continues in the Kauffman Museum Store, with a unique selection of gifts that fit the museum’s mission to tell the story of the prairie and settlement. Museum director Rachel Pannabecker added, “New this year will be a vintage Christmas market with holiday decorations from a local estate. Come early for fabulous prices on gently used ornaments.” Museum staff and volunteers will serve cider and homemade cookies.

Warkentin House (Newton)

Friends of Warkentin House have decorated the Victorian-style home with vintage toys and musical instruments, holiday garlands and lights. Guests will be treated to Christmas music played throughout the day by students from the Home Educator’s Association of Newton. Performers will include Justine, Hope, and Hannah Ostrander (violin), Elise Kliewer (cello), Haly Hendricks, Mandy and Katelyn Sundquist (piano). Peppernuts and Mrs. Warkentin’s Russian tea will be served throughout the day.

Board member Karen Penner said, “One comes away from the Warkentin House in awe of the spirit of a bygone Christmas era in the Newton community, and enthused to recreate the spirit of the holidays in one’s own home and neighborhood.”

If you go …

Five Places of Christmas

Saturday, Dec. 4

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Bethel College Goerz House

2512 College Avenue, North Newton

“An Old-Fashioned Christmas”; BCWA bake sale

Carriage Factory Art Gallery

128 East 6th Street, Newton; (316) 284-2749

“E-ART-H & SKY” exhibit; Christmas Shoppe

Harvey County Historical Museum

203 North Main Street, Newton; (316) 283-2221

“The Fourmen” at 2 p.m.; refreshments

Kauffman Museum

27th and North Main, North Newton; (316) 283-1612

“KANSAS” exhibit; store and vintage Christmas market

Warkentin House

211 East First Street, Newton; (316) 283-3113

Russian tea and peppernuts; music by young people

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