For the 40th anniversary of its Christmas celebration last year, Wichita’s Old Cowtown Museum switched things up a bit, devoting its festivities to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
But this year, Cowtown executive director Jacky Goerzen says, the 23-acre living history museum is going back to its traditional “Victorian Christmas” this weekend and next.
“We’ve got a lot of people who have made it a family tradition,” Goerzen said. “We hear a lot of ‘I went when I was a kid and now I’m bringing my kids.’ ”
While staying traditional, she said, there are also some new attractions this year.
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Chief among them is a re-creation of Santa’s workshop in the carpenter’s shop area of Cowtown.
“It’s gonna be really cool,” Goerzen said. “We’ve got it set up to look like the North Pole, where we’ve got an assembly line of toys. We’ll have elves working in the back that you can hear through the door.”
Christmas carolers, including area schoolchildren and Girl Scouts, will be roaming the streets of Cowtown each night. Children can participate in crafts and activities, including popcorn stringing and wagon rides throughout the grounds.
The Cowtown Saloon Girls, as well as Victorian dancers, will make appearances.
In the one-room schoolhouse, storytellers will regale listeners with “The Night Before Christmas.”
Goerzen said that the Christmas celebration averages about 1,000 visitors a night, depending on the weather. High temperatures this weekend are forecast to range from the mid-40s to the mid-50s.
And there may be a holdover from last year’s “Christmas Carol” celebration, she added.
“We are hoping to bring back Scrooge,” she said. “I’m still waiting to hear back from Scrooge, but I think we can talk him into making an appearance. He was fantastic last year.”
Where: Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 W. Museum Blvd.
When: 6-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, Dec. 2-3 and 9-10
Admission: $7.75 for ages 18-61, $6.50 for ages 62 and older, $6 for ages 12-17, $5.50 for ages 4-11 and free for ages younger than 4
Info: oldcowtown.org and 316-350-3323