Mark your calendars for the first weekend in December! The town of West Branch, the Herbert Hoover Museum and the National Historic Site will join forces to kick off the holiday season with the annual Christmas Past Celebration the weekend of November 30th.
The festivities officially begin with the lighting of the tree in the Village Green at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 30th. The University of Iowa’s Collegium Tubum will be playing Christmas carols on their tubas during this ceremony. Following the tree lighting ceremony the tubas will play at the Brick Fireplaces throughout the town of West Branch.
Horse-drawn wagon rides on Friday and Saturday evenings start at 5:30 p.m. from the Visitor Center of Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The rides take visitors through the historic site and historic downtown West Branch. The last wagon rides begin at 8:00 p.m. The Visitor Center and the Herbert Hoover Birthplace Cottage will be open to visitors on Friday and Saturday nights until 9:00 p.m. For more information, call Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at (319) 643-2541.
Special museum hours for Christmas Past weekend are Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free admission begins Friday at 5:00 p.m. and continues throughout the weekend. This year’s holiday exhibit is A Cowboy Christmas featuring twenty trees decked in western motif.
The Young Footliters will be performing Christmas Crisis at the Mistletoe Mesa Friday night at 7:00 p.m., Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Performances are free and there is no reserve seating. The Uncalled Four quartet will be singing Christmas carols in the rotunda Friday and Saturday evenings and the West Branch Community Choir will perform on Sunday afternoon at 1:30. The annual Holiday Open House is Sunday from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. with Santa Claus and free holiday refreshments served.
Main Street West Branch will feature an ice sculptor, brick fireplaces for roasting marshmallows, fresh cooked doughnuts, photos with Santa, and a bonfire with free hot dog roasting at the West Branch Fire Department. Downtown shops will be open for business Friday and Saturday evenings, and the local churches will have a Cookie Walk, Christmas Candy Sale and a Soup Supper. Donation boxes for the West Branch Food Pantry will be located at the Hoover Museum, Hoover National Historic Site and throughout the town of West Branch.
These are just a few of the many activities throughout the town, park and museum – visit the website, http://www.hoover.archives.gov/pressreleases/2012christmaspastschedule.pdf, for a complete list or call:
Main Street West Branch at 319-643-7100, the Herbert Hoover Museum at 319-643-5301 or the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at 319-643-2541.
Fireplaces for marshmallow roasting on Main Street, West Branch, Iowa, Christmas Past Weekend 2011. Photo – Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum