CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — It's festive inside Douglas Mansion in downtown Cedar Rapids after renovations took almost five years to complete. Now the historic 120 year-old building is home to The History Center and its staff finally being able to celebrate their first Christmas at their new permanent home.
"We were nomadic for three years but the fact is that now we have our home, it really means a lot to the history center," Jason Wright, the Executive Director of The History Center said. "We are truly home for the holidays."
And because Christmas is such an important celebration for many, Wright and his staff decided to organize a Christmas party that everyone can be a part of. From seeing a historic Victorian style tree, to being able to see the regular exhibits and being able to hear live music from different schools in the area gives them a chance to celebrate their first Christmas the right way.
"This is a great moment for us to showcase all of our hard work and putting the museum together and restoring this beautiful mansion," Jenny Thielman, the program manager for The History Center said. "Filling the house with the holiday spirit, is really going to be a fun experience."
For Wright, the celebration is very personal. The ornaments hanging on the historic Christmas tree in the lobby were made by his mother, he oversaw the move and curation of the museum together with his curator Jami Roskamp and believes that by being able to celebrate inside a historic location, visitors will truly get the chance to experience a unique holiday celebration while also being part of creating memories at a place that has produced so many of them.
"It ties directly to people celebrating their own heritage, their own history," Wright said. "When you are pulling your decorations out that have been handed down for generations, you are celebrating your own history and we are doing the same thing right here and actually help people create new memories that people can celebrate for years to come."
The celebration starts at 6 P.M. and costs $5. The History Center is located at 800 Second Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
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