‘A Farmer’s Christmas’ set to shine at Delaware Ag Museum

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The Avenue of Trees is one highlight of Saturday’s A Farmer’s Christmas at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER –– The 20-year-old tradition of “A Farmer’s Christmas” at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover continues Saturday, giving visitors a look into daily life in the 1890s.

The event, from 1 to 5 p.m., features artisans, musicians, re-enactors and storytellers.

“It’s an event that families have come to love and it’s become a family tradition for many in Kent County,” said museum director Di Rafter.

All the artisans conduct their work in 19th-century style. Just a couple of features to look out for are a blacksmith hammering and shaping red-hot

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A festively decorated Smokey Bear looks over the displays in the museum.

metal, a craftswoman making a rug on a large loom and a woodworker making a variety of goods using an age-old technique.

Once guests wander outside to the village, nearly each building will have some sort of activity happening. Carolers will sing Christmas tunes at the St. Thomas Church with a live nativity scene put on by New Harvest Baptist Church in Dover.

Aside from the carolers, the First State Harmonizers, the Hudson Branch Jammers, the Delaware Choral Society and the Harmonica Players will also put on performances.

“Planning for ‘A Farmer’s Christmas’ really starts as soon as the previous one ends,” Ms. Rafter said. “We try to book the musicians right away, because the holiday season is always really busy, especially for performers.”

In the Summer Kitchen, live cooking demonstrations will be put on all day long so visitors can take a look at labor-intensive and time-consuming wood stove cooking that was the norm in the 19th century.

Ghost stories will be told at the Loockerman Landing Train Station alongside steam engine demonstrations.

Although there is a lot to see at ‘A Farmer’s Christmas,’ there is a lot to do also, especially for the kids. Some of the crafts kids can make and take home are Christmas ornaments, snowmen, bracelets and pine cone decorations.

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It wouldn’t be “A Farmer’s Christmas” without a model train display.

Last but certainly not least, a highlight for the kids is an appearance by Santa and Mr. Claus, who will be taking time from their busy schedules to sip on some hot cider and cookies.

For the first time at “A Farmer’s Christmas,” an Avenue of Trees will be on display. The Avenue is a display of 30 Christmas trees all decorated according to a wide variety of themes.

“We had the idea about two years ago and advertised it in our newsletter and eventually everything we needed was donated,” Ms. Rafter said. “So all that was left was to actually decorate the trees and set them up at the museum.”

The event is rain or shine and all the village’s buildings will be heated by wood stoves.

The museum is at 866 N. DuPont Highway in Dover. Admission to A Farmer’s Christmas is free for members and non-members must pay regular museum admission –– $6 for adults, $4 for seniors 65 and over, $3 for children 4 though 17 and free for kids 3 and younger.

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