The Barton County Historical Museum and Village will be open for some old fashioned holiday fun this Sunday, when it hosts its annual "Ghosts of Christmas Past" open house.
The museum, located just south of Great Bend’s Arkansas River bridge on U.S. 281, will be open from 1-4 p.m. and no admission will be charged, Director Beverly Komarek said.
"Everybody’s invited," she said. The museum has several Christmas displays, Santa Claus will be there, refreshments will be served and entertainment is scheduled throughout the afternoon.
Scheduled entertainment includes:
1:30-2 p.m. - St. Patrick Traditional Choir, directed by Joe Boley, singing Christmas carols;
2-2:30 p.m. - Allison Muth, vocal solo, Christmas songs;
2:30-3 p.m. - Women in Harmony, Great Bend Middle School, directed by Andrea Gardner;
3-3:30 p.m. - Piano solos by students of the Central Kansas Piano League teachers; and
3:30 - 4 p.m. - Nazarene Children’s Christmas Choir, directed by Bobbi Jo Grieb.
"It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas" Komarek said. The Historical Society recently added a 6-foot Black Hills spruce tree, complete with lights and decorations, all donated by local businesses. It was planted by Bob Stiles, Darrell Rexwinkle and some trusties from the Barton County Jail.
The museum’s regular winter hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, but it’s also worth a trip "after hours" to see the Christmas lights, which come on at 5 p.m.
People following Great Bend’s "Trail of Lights" shouldn’t stop at the city limits, Komarek said. Traveling south on Main Street (U.S. 281), it’s a short drive to the Historical Village. After they cross the Arkansas River bridge, people will see lights on the former St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. The 11 buildings that make up the Historical Village are all illuminated, and "The Lineman," an animated display from the former Christmas Fantasy Village, climbs a pole to make sure everything is brightly lit. The driveway onto the property also has an exit back onto the highway that will allow people to take in the evening displays and head back toward Great Bend.