The Mount Airy Museum of Regional History is planning once again to open its doors to the community when it hosts the annual Holiday Open House.
This year’s event is set for Dec. 15, from 10 a.m., until 5 p.m., and admission is free, according to Executive Director Matt Edwards.
Edwards said the open house is one of his favorite events throughout the year.
“This is the museum’s annual gift to the community,” he said. “This free annual event is a great opportunity to come and see the museum decorated and spruced up for the holiday season.”
During the event, visitors can tour four floors of museum exhibits, browse themed Christmas trees, shop for holiday gifts and enjoy light refreshments and live holiday music.
And this year’s open house will feature a couple of “firsts,” that can save county residents a little pocket change.
“This year, we’ve added a new component by forming a relationship with the MAPS (Mount Airy Professionals of Surry), a group of community-minded young professionals,” Edwards said. “As part of the open house, they will be hosting a Cookies With Santa event here at the museum from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.”
During the event, a small financial donation or a donation of food can get visitors a photo with Santa.
“MAPS is doing a canned food drive where people can bring in food and get their picture made with Santa,” Edwards said. “What they’re doing is if you bring in a financial contribution or a can of food for local food banks, the photo with Santa is free. As always, people are welcome to come and chat with Santa, but if they want a photo they can get it free through MAPS.”
But the open house isn’t just about meeting the Jolly Old Elf, Edwards said.
Refreshments will be served throughout the day, and there will be live music presented during the day-long event, including another first this year.
“At 1:30 in the afternoon, there will be a lady here from the UNC School of the Arts, Briana Deunsing, who will be presenting a program including period music of the Civil War era. She will be performing in full period clothing with stories and anecdotes peppered throughout,” Edwards said. “This should be a really interesting thing this year, and it’s being presented for the first time.”
Deunsing, a senior piano major at UNC, will be performing as “Bonnie Blue Briana” in honor of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and will play a selection of patriotic songs, music celebrating victories, slave songs that often include codes for escape, and songs of mourning and longing for home and peace.
And Deunsing is getting a little community support as well.
“Old Mill Music has been kind enough to donate instruments for her to play,” Edwards said. “This is just a really cool way for us to work with our neighbors while giving back to the community. We’re about the community, not just storing old stuff.”
This year the museum is also offering brass collector’s Christmas ornaments that will be sold through the United Fund.
“We’re selling them for $10 each, with the proceeds to be split between the United Fund and the museum,” Edwards said.
For more information, call the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History at 336-786-4478.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.