Annual Old Fashioned Christmas Party – Old Independence Regional Museum – December 9th

Old Independence Regional Museum’s 10th Annual Old Fashioned Family Christmas Party will feature Carols, Cookies, & Crafts.

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Old Independence Regional Museum will host its 10th Annual Old Fashioned Family Christmas Party on Saturday, December 9th, from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m.  Admission is free for this event, but donations are always appreciated.  “We envision an old fashioned Christmas as one where families come together to enjoy the sights, sounds and traditions of the season.  We look forward to welcoming visitors of all ages and hope that generations of families will come out and make some Christmas memories,” stated Terri Crawford, Humanities Educator.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will make the journey down from the North Pole and will be available from 11 am till 1pm, to visit with little boys and girls.  Parents are welcome to bring a camera and take photos.  Morley Family Magic will be entertaining visitors as well with their balloon animal creations.

Museum guests are invited to visit stations throughout the museum where volunteers and staff members will be on hand to help decorate cookies and make Christmas ornaments.   A variety of ornaments will be available to make this year including several traditional favorites like salt dough ornaments.

Christmas carols will fill the air while guests are visiting the museum.  Ed Casper, a local accordion player, will be strolling through the museum, from 10 till noon, playing his accordion.

The museum gift shop will be open during the event. “Santa’s Helpers” will be on hand to assist children in gift selection for parents, grandparents, and siblings.  Free gift wrapping will accompany gift purchases.  The gift shop carries books and toys, as well as a variety of educational, local and handcrafted items, many of which are priced for small pockets.

This humanities program is made possible by local support from Independence County and the City of Batesville, as well as by Challenge Grant Endowment funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children.  The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff.  Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.