traditions, family, friends, warmth, summer. . . celebrations!
The costumed people on the cover and the theme of this edition of “The Album,” prompts me to share a favorite summer memory and a sentiment about the Museum’s celebrations…
On the third Sunday of July, the Ganshaw and Koeppen families, my maternal ancestors, convene. The reunion dates back to just before I was born and has always been a steadfast summer tradition.
At one o’clock the folding chairs emerge under the old tree canopy. Requisite sacred beer steins, a choice dish-to-pass, family dessert specialties, and fun door prizes are the order of the day. Adding to the processional-like set up, my grandmother and her eleven siblings would gather costumes to don before dinner. The Aunts and Uncles slipped on and into oversized old hats and miss-matched garments, patriotic sashes, loud ties, and character costumes of the day (yep, a Big Bird get-up and the like did not push boundaries of flamboyancy). Grilled marinade chicken cooked over old half-barrel charcoal pits made our mouths water as this colorful feast of family fun – all made sacred-in-tradition by the clipped cadence of Great-Uncle Bill’s German blessing – wafts in warm summer memories of my youth.
Now in its 11th year, Party on the Portico has come to brand the same delightful recall of tradition and idyllic summer gatherings on the steps and grounds of the Museum’s portico (minus the zany costumes). Or, as we like to say, our sensational porch party! Each summer, at each of the three portico parties, we greet a reunion of our history Museum “family” members, friends and new faces (soon to be familiar) to celebrate al fresco the people, their stories, the gorgeous views, the music, and, of course, the glorious Museum.
With the Food Truck Rodeo in its 4th season, the first Wednesday in June, July, August, and September, we’ve enjoyed regular visits from families who claim their own special tree to spread a blanket and sup outdoors on the Museum grounds while taking in the nature, music and sunshine. Friends and families also take advantage of free admission and kid-friendly activities offered.
The Antique and Classic Car show offers the same convivial annual summertime treat for all who love gleaming motorized works of art on display the first Sunday in August.
With all the wonderful gatherings happening not only at the Museum, but everywhere in town, I hope you choose to embrace our family and share in some of the tradition…the history…the celebration!
We’d love to see you.