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Museum Day set for Sunday, May 4

Museum day is a way for the community to experience what the museum has to offer in a fun, hands-on way. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Like an old, heavy, dusty vault, the Becker County Historical Society is cracking open the doors to the museum and all of its 4th annual Museum Day surprises.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is set for Sunday, May 4, from noon to 4 p.m.

“We use it as a community day — a day to come and see all the great things the museum has to offer,” said Amy Degerstrom, director of the historical society.

The day started as a way to recognize and celebrate museums during Minnesota Museum Month and International Museum Month.

“We focus it around hands-on activities that you can try from history,” explained Degerstrom, who says there will be collections of different historical artifacts like cookie cutters, powder flasks from the civil war and more.

“And so we’ll have things for the kids to do like cookie decorating and some old fashioned games,” said Degerstrom.

Provided the weather is good, kids can join in the games outside, including jump rope, hop scotch and “hoops.”

“These are traditional games that have a long history that you might not even realize how far back they go,” said Degerstrom, “so we’ll try to have like a little history education on how far back they go and how they got started.”

And what goes swimmingly with those old fashioned games?

Old fashioned ice cream, of course.

“We’ll have old fashioned ice cream making so people can try to crank that old crank to try to make ice cream,” said Degerstrom.

The trip back into time continues with horse and buggy rides, as well as civil war re-enactors who, if the weather cooperates, will be putting on a full-costume show on the lawn of the museum.

“But even if it’s raining, we’ll still have action going on inside the museum,” said Degerstrom.

There will also be an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at birch bark basket making — a traditional Native American skill.

“And we’re still looking for people who might want to participate in this as well — to come and put on a demonstration whether it be rosemalers, quilters, knitters or any historical craft that people still do today but don’t always think of how historical they are,” said Degerstrom, who says they’ll also be adding to the historical ambiance with some piano music during the event.

There will be lunch available for purchase at the museum as well, with options like fry-bread tacos, hot dogs, cookies and bars, coffee and lemonade.

The past few years there has been anywhere from 250 to 300 people partaking in Museum Day.

There will be a free will donation basket set up for participants, but Degerstrom says, whether people can give or not, she just hopes people go on out to celebrate.

“It’s kind of our way of thanking our community and supporters and members for loving their museum and keeping us going,” said Degerstrom. “It’s our thank you to the people that live here.”

For more information on the event, to offer up historical collections for viewing or to do demonstrations, call the museum at 847-2938.