Winterthur lights up for Yuletide celebrations

Caryl Huffaker
Caryl Huffaker

Winterthur will explore Christmas traditions and celebrations this year from the 1700s to today with emphasis on a variety of lighting traditions early Americans brought with them. Pre---electricity lighting traditions include festive color and bubble lights of the mid-20th century. They will show the Swedish tradition of an iron candelabra ornately wrapped in paper and the German towering array of wooden tiers that spun powered by rising air heated by candles.

As farming communities had “down time” in the winter, used fir celebrations, Winterthur will feature a holiday wedding in the mid-1800s. Beautiful trees will be featured throughout the tour, including the famous dried-flower tree Yuletide is free to members and $20 per nonmember. Reservations are recommended. Call1-800-448-3883.

Tours will be given daily (including Mondays)Nov. 23 through Jan. 5 with evening tours on Wednesdays, Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, 11 and 18 with the last tour tickets sold at 6:45 p.m. The Yuletide brunch with Santa will be on Saturdays and Sundays in December before Christmas from 9 2 p.m. with Santa appearing from 9 to 11a.m.

The estate is offering several fascinating workshops. The tabletop dried-flower tree workshop, that has sold out each year, will be on December 8 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Trees and dried flower material will be provided. $100 per member, $125 per non-member. Holiday centerpiece workshop will be on Dec. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. Flowers and containers provided. Please bring clippers. $55 per member, $70 per nonmember. There is also a teacher workshop for active teachers only, to be given on Dec. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call 800-448-3883. $15 per person, members free. Credit available through the Delaware Teacher Center.



The 33rd annual Luncheon Fashion Show attracted the usual large crowd of local ladies anxious for the chance to meet and greet acquaintances they seldom see in their busy lives. With fashions by Jane Chalfant/Kiki Boutique and Joya Boutique and jewelry by Ree Gallagher, shoppers had the chance to see what the fashion mavens are forecasting. It was mostly warm, sporty clothes, usually in a dark color with perhaps one very different scarf, top or jewelry to set the outfit off.

Models this year were the very beautiful and svelte Lee Clymer, Ann Fontanella, Kari Jamuz, Terry Klinefelter, Katie Mann, Vicki Pry and Jan Schroeder all of who showed off the clothes with style and panache, with Fontanella serenading the audience with an animated violin performance equal to the precision of the Celtic lassies. Equally at home on the runway were Bob Hoch, Richard Kent and Paul Merluzzi. Co-Chairs Martha Diffey and Donna Elliott planned a lovely afternoon out for the ladies.


Mary Ann Jung is an award winning actress and Smithsonian scholar who has appeared on CNN, the “Today Show,” and “Good Morning America” as she plays famous women from history. These have included Queen Catherine de Medici, Queen Anne of England and her award winning depiction of Clara Barton. Her energetic, family friendly portrayal of Barton will be presented at Unionville Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 23, at 7:30 p.m. The Hadley Fund presentation is free and open to the public.


As the first discussion with authors, the Newark Arts Alliance, located at Market East Plaza, 276 East Main Street, Suite 102, Newark, on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 7to 8 p.m. will host the mother and son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd, known as Charles Todd. Their most well-known creation is Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard in post-World War I England, and Bess Crawford, nurse and amateur investigator in France during World War I. Admission to this reading and discussion is free.


The Delaware Museum of Natural History will hold Family Movie Night this Saturday, Nov. 16, when they show Ice Age at 5:30 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. The museum’s special exhibit “Ice Age Imperials,” will be open for viewing, so arrive in time to see it. Admission is $3 for members, $5 for non-member.



The Delaware Art Museum has all the supplies needed for you to print your own Christmas Cards using pre-carved linoleum blocks with fun embellishments on Friday, Nov. 22 from 7 to 9p.m. Beer, wine and light snacks will be provided. You must be over 21 to participate. Members $30, non-members $35 Pre-registration required – call 302-571-9590.

Erector set

The Penn State Extension Service is offering a unique class this Saturday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. at 601 Westtown Road, West Chester, for a session with erector set expert Al Gerhards. Youths ages 8 to 18 will have the opportunity to build a working windmill, learning about gears, shafts and basic mechanical principles. Cost is $5 per child. To register contact Peggy McKee at or call 610-696-3500.


The Kennett Symphony of Chester County will hold its competition for gifted musicians in grades 9-12 who play string, woodwind, brass or percussion instruments on Saturday, Nov. 25 in the auditorium at Kendal at Longwood. The competition will begin at 1 p.m. The public is invited to come hear these young emerging artists. The winner will be featured at one of the concerts by the Kennett Symphony.


The recent campaign to raise money and awareness about the Pennsylvania Top Ten Endangered Artifacts ended when imprisoned abolitionist Passmore Williamson’s visitor’s book at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester was the winner in People’s Choice with 1,968,595 votes out of 5,283,128 cast. Although it was a true community effort, voters and donations from as far away as Singapore were received. The CCHS received $16,000 in donations, which is a good start for the needed $25,000 to restore the book.

Other institutions in the competition, “Save Pennsylvania’s Past,” were The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, American Philatelic Society, Carnegie Museum of Art, Lancaster, Mennonite Heritage Center, Old Economy Village, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center.


The Brandywine Museums and Gardens Alliance has come up with a great Christmas shopping idea. The have Brandywine Treasure Trail Passports, $95 for a family of two adults and three children, good for one-time free admission next summer at 11 top area attractions. They also list terrific gifts that include holiday tours at Nemours Mansion & Gardens, Winterthur Museum & Gardens, A Longwood Christmas, Brandywine River Museum’s A Brandywine Christmas, The Holiday Traditions at Rockwood Museum, Hagley Museum holiday exhibits. The gift shops offer unique gifts, many hand made. For more information visit


Sousa Scholar Tom Hoey, founder and director emeritus of the Upper Darby Sousa Band will appear at the Kennett Friends Home on Wednesday, Nov. 20 as John Phillip Sousa as he reflects on his life and career as America’s March King.Mr. Sousa will have original sheet music, pictures and artifacts on display and will answer any questions about Sousa. This program for Southeastern Chester County Historical Society is free and open to the public.


Saturday, Nov. 16 will be a Night of Comedy with Todd Chappelle at the Kennett Flash. Also on the program will be Hot Breakfast and Dave & Brian


The New City State in Philadelphia is offering a series of plays about the White House and its tenants. They will begin by bringing back RFK that sold out when it was introduced several years ago This story of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy will run through Nov. 24. “Frost-Nixon,” this entertaining show between the disgraced president Nixon and talk show host David frost will run Dec. 5 and Jan. 5. They will have a world premiere play, “Hinckley” about wanna-be rock star turned assassin from March 6 through 30. In May and June they will perform satiric readings about the White House and its inhabitants. For tickets or information call 215-563-7500.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.