A trip to "Christmas Past" will be celebrated next weekend at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and in the surrounding town of West Branch, Iowa.
Main Street in West Branch will start off the celebration on Friday, December 3, with a tree lighting ceremony as the West Branch High School Chorus sings on the Village Green at 6:30 p.m. During the weekend, downtown West Branch will feature brick fireplaces for roasting marshmallows, homemade doughnuts, photos with Santa (and perhaps one of his reindeer), along with family-friendly holiday crafts and activities to celebrate the season.
Shops will be open for business all weekend. A complete schedule of activities is online at www.mainstreetwestbranch.org. For more information, call Mackenzie Edwards at (319) 643-2131.
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, Herbert Hoover Birthplace Cottage, and Blacksmith Shop will be open to visitors on Friday and Saturday nights until 9:00 p.m. A park ranger will demonstrate the art and craft of blacksmithing in the Blacksmith Shop on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Park volunteers and staff will lead ornament-making activities at the Visitor Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call Herbert Hoover National Historic Site at 319-643-2541.
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum displays Christmas trees in its annual holiday exhibit, this year with 20 trees decorated in the traditions of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. Free weekend performances at the Presidential Library and Museum include stage presentations by The Young Footliters, and Christmas carols by the Uncalled Four quartet and the West Branch Community Chorus.
Sunday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. is the Presidential Library and Museum’s Holiday Open House, featuring refreshments and visits with Santa Claus. For more information and a complete schedule call the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum at (319) 643-5301.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are in West Branch, Iowa at exit 254 off I-80. Both are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Parking is limited so please allow extra time to find a parking space.