Holiday Traditions Open House at Auburn’s Historic Sites

Holiday Traditions is an event that was created by the Seward House over 30 years ago as a token of appreciation to the Auburn community. Since that time, other local cultural attractions and sites have opened their doors to the public for free the second Sunday in December. Now, the “open house” is a tradition, and again this year, participation has expanded to include churches and other non-profit organizations. Cayuga Museum, 203 Genesee Street (315) 253-8051www.cayugamuseum.orgOpen from Noon to 5 PM – Come see the mansion decked out in its finest holiday decor! Current exhibits – Breaking Bread: Food, Culture, and What’s on Your Plate and Old is New: Recent Donations to Our Collection, 2014-2015.Schweinfurth Art Center, 205 Genesee Street (315) 255-1553www.myartcenter.org Open Noon to 5 PM – Visit the Schweinfurth to view the Art Center’s 35th annual Quilts=Art=Quilts exhibit. This year’s exhibit includes 76 quilts by 68 artists from the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. New this year is a special exhibit, Traditions Made Modern: Double Wedding Ring Quilts by Victoria Findlay Wolfe in the Art Center’s new Davis Family Gallery on the 2nd floor. Children are invited to complete a scavenger hunt about the quilts and visitors will be able to enjoy shopping in the Art Center’s unique gift shop.Seward House Museum, 33 South Street (315) 252-1283www.sewardhouse.orgOpen Noon to 5 PM – Enjoy live entertainment by local musicians, see the Museum elegantly decorated by local florists and artisans, and get swept back in time as Seward House staff and volunteers tell tales of a Victorian Seward Christmas.St. Francis of Assisi Church, 303 Clark Street (315) 252-7593www.marymarthaauburn.org/A Special Christmas – presented at 4 PM by Auburn Chamber Orchestra. Steven Frackenpohl is the conductor and music director of the orchestra. The 50-member orchestra will perform classical selections from Tschaikowski’s Nutcracker Suite, Handel’s Messiah and Korngold’s The Snowman Overture. Other holiday compositions will include Skater’s Waltz, The Christmas Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Overture to Miracle on 34th Street. The performance also will include a medley of holiday music from around the world and an audience sing-along of familiar Christmas carols. $5 donation requested at the door.Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum, Route 38A (315) 252-5009www.cayugacounty.us/Community/ParksandTrails/AgMuseum.aspxOpen Noon to 4 PM – All are invited back in time, and back to their childhood. The Museum/Ed Center will be decorated and the tree will be trimmed. There will be horse drawn wagon rides and musical entertainment. Santa will arrive at 12:30 PM on a horse drawn wagon and will talk to children about their Christmas lists. There will be special food and drink available. Come decorate some Christmas cookies, make some Christmas decorations and enter the Christmas contests. Admission and parking is free. Guided tours will be available and the gift shop will be open for unique Christmas gifts. Come join in the fun. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17 William Street (315) 253-3331www.westminsterauburn.org Open Noon to 3 PM – Stop in for holiday music with the “Brass Infusion of CNY” from 1:00-2:30 pm. This 10-piece brass ensemble, directed by Tom Camp, will play 3 short sets of Christmas hymns in the church sanctuary, some accompanied by Lori Rhodes Pettit on Westminster’s Skinner pipe organ. There will also be a display of “Shoebox Nativities” (homemade dioramas made by local individuals, families, and groups), and creches and manger scenes from a variety of families, cultures, and traditions which depict the story of Jesus’ birth. Church members will give tours of the historic church, including recently renovated areas, and will offer refreshments in the social room.Willard Memorial Chapel, 17 Nelson Street (315) 252-0339www.willardchapel.orgRead with Santa, and partake in Christmas Carols at the Chapel. Bring your children and grandchildren for some holiday magic. The fun begins promptly at 1:00 pm as Santa and his helpers read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’. As a special surprise, Santa gives children a book to take home! At 2:30 pm, Susan May will be playing Christmas carols on the Chapel’s Steere & Turner pipe organ. For more information, about Holiday Traditions, or for a photo from the past events, call the Cayuga County Office of Tourism at 315-255-1658. If you have questions regarding a specific venue, please phone them directly.About Auburn’s Historic & Cultural Sites CommissionTo ensure communication between the many Holiday Traditions’ partners, the City of Auburn’s Historic & Cultural Sites Commission coordinates publicity and advertising for this event. The Commission site members include Auburn Public Theater, Auburn Schine’s Theater, Cayuga Museum & Case Research Lab, Harriet Tubman Home, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Seward House Museum and Willard Memorial Chapel.

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