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Santa prep begins

Press Photo by John Odermann Dickinson Museum Center Director Danielle Stuckle cuts a piece of velvet cloth as she prepares to sew a Victorian-style robe at the Museum Center Thursday.

The Dickinson Museum Center hopes to help Dickinson residents get into the Christmas spirit this weekend.

The center will hold its first-ever holiday event Saturday and Museum Center Director Danielle Stuckle hopes it will turn into a special annual event, even for Santa.

The event falls on the feast day of St. Nicholas, better known as Santa Claus, and Stuckle will have a gift of her own for Santa.

She is making a long Victorian-style velvet robe for St. Nick to wear during his appearance.

"This is the first time we've done an event like this," Stuckle said. "We're hoping that this will turn into a long-running annual event for us."

The event, which begins at 1 p.m., will include a Victorian Christmas tree decoration project for children, a visit from St. Nicholas, and a program on various area Christmas traditions.

The day will end with a stroll through Prairie Outpost Park with music, caroling, hot cocoa and cider.

Stuckle said parents should bring their children for a fun-filled day of learning about the various Christmas traditions that continue in southwest North Dakota today, starting with the creation of their own Victorian-style decorations.

"It's a project more geared toward kids where they can come in and make their own ornaments," Stuckle said.

The Victorian era lasted from the mid-1800s to the early-1900s, Stuckle said, and the type of decorations which were made consisted of household items, including recycled items.

Items such as popcorn, dried fruit, paper cutouts, lace and beads would be used to construct ornaments.

Dickinson Museum Board member Leroy Oberlander said the event falling on the feast of St. Nicholas gives it a nice piece of continuity with the holiday.

Oberlander is one of four people who will give a presentation.

"What we're trying to accomplish is we're trying to indicate what most people or what most families in that era did," he said.

Along with Oberlander, who will be talking about the German and Germans from Russia traditions, Agnes Palanuk from the Ukrainian Cultural Institute will be discussing Ukrainian traditions, Muriel Neverdal will discuss Scandinavian and Norwegian traditions and Susie Kapelovitz will discuss Jewish traditions.

"We'd like to see a lot of people from the community come up, bring their children up and see what's going on," Oberlander said.