Sunday, October 23, 2011

2012 Events Calendar

Wow, this sure got overlooked in the past year. With all we had going on here at Graeme Park in 2011 it just wasn't a priority, but I would like to remedy that in the upcoming year. We've pared our calendar down a bit and will be focusing on our best and most successful events in order to be able to devote more time to doing them well and to give our volunteers a break from the rapid succession of events we had last year. We're also hoping our new partnership with Open Aire Affairs will begin to come into fruition and with fewer events, that leaves us with more open weekends available to rent the site for weddings and private parties which take place on the grounds in the new Open Aire Affairs tent which went up this past July.

As it looks now, our 2012 events will include:

Colonial Valentine's Day Tours - In the past these have been reservations-only candlelit tours in the evenings. This year we decided to change it up and offer them during the day since the weather can be a bit dicey in February and committing to coming out on a cold, dark night doesn't work for everyone. The format will be the same - a guided tour with costumed actors presenting scenes throughout the house that relate the story of Elizabeth Graeme's loves and loses and other important history of Graeme Park.

Charter Day - This is the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commissions annual give-back to the community where most of the state historic sites are open free of charge. While Graeme Park is currently being operated by the Friends of Graeme Park, we plan to participate anyway, so if you're one of the locals who's driven by here countless times and never knew what we were about, please stop in and find out; and if you're a history or architecture buff who makes an annual pilgrimage traveling around to see as many sites as you can on this day, we'll be here to show you around.

World War II Encampment - This is still in the planning stages - we held the first one just last month, but we're kicking around the idea of doing it in the spring instead. The group in charge of hosting the Civil War Encampment this year will be doing it at a different locale, so that leaves us with an opening in April or May. We'll let you know details when we have them.

Celtic Heritage Festival - This is our main fundraising event of the year, so we'll be back doing it again. Vendors, music, dancers, food, Celtic clans and non-profits, it's always a great day of entertainment, shopping and fun.

Shakespeare in the Park - The venues are totally up to Theatre Horizon, the professional theater group who puts on the show, but we're game if they are. In the past they've presented As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing. Whatever the play, it's always a fun time enjoying one of the Bard's lighthearted comedies in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Colonial Adventure Camp - A week long program for elementary aged kids to enjoy colonial games, crafts, cooking, and other activities. The activities vary from year to year so there is always something new and exciting for kids to do, but old favorites also make reappearances, and of course there are old friendships to renew and new ones to be made.

Yellow Fever Living History Theater - This is another guided tour of the Keith House where you encounter costumed actors along the way doing scenes related to the Yellow Fever epidemic that raged though Philadelphia in 1793. A perhaps little known fact about Elizabeth's history is that she didn't remain at Graeme Park until her death. Shortly before the epidemic she had sold the property to her niece's husband and his second wife. They remained in Philadelphia and allowed her to stay at Graeme Park until the fever broke out, at which point they came to the country to escape the disease. Elizabeth stayed with them for the time being, but once they decided to make Graeme Park their permanent residence, she did not wish to remain as a guest in the home she had for so long been mistress of, so she moved out.

Homeschool Day - This annual day for homeschoolers features tours of the Keith House and various activities around the grounds, including a hearth cooking demonstration, military drill, colonial games and activities.

Dog Faire - Elizabeth loved her dog Fidele, and we love our four-legged visitors. The park is dog-friendly at any time of year with lots of open fields and nature trails to explore - heck we usually even have homemade dog biscuits for sale in our shop. During the annual dog faire, we have vendors and rescues to shop from, games and activities to participate in and free drawings for lots of great raffle prizes.

Haunted Moonlight Tours - Graeme Park has been called the most haunted house in Horsham, and stories of Elizabeth's ghost have been circulating since very soon after she died. Our own volunteers, staff and visitors often report strange smells, sounds, and happenings in the house. These evening candlelit tours take you through the house where you'll encounter costumed actors presenting scenes related to the history of Graeme Park and Elizabeth, and hear stories about some of the experiences we've had ourselves or that have been reported to us or passed down through the ages.

We'll of course bring you more details on events as they approach and as we know more with specifics on dates, times, costs, vendors who will be joining us and more. If you haven't made time to come to a Graeme Park event in the past, we hope you'll join us and see what a beautiful and interesting place this is and of course if you have a favorite event you attend every year, we're glad to have you back, and hope you can bring along some others to share in a great time.

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