During December, Bridgeport’s Barnum Museum is offering a limited, yet glorious, series of Victorian Christmas events as part of the Celebrate the Season programming.
On Wednesday, December 11, at 11 a.m. the musuem is hosting a reading of The Night Before Christmas by Sonya Finch Bridgeport’s First Lady. Mrs. Finch will read Clement Clarke Moore’s timeless holiday tale, the enchantingThe Night Before Christmas, under the twinkling lights of a Victorian Christmas tree. Children attending the nearby Early Learning Lab at Housatonic Community College have been invited, but the public is also encouraged to bring their pre-school children for a $2 suggested donation to participate in this traditional way to ring in the holidays.
If you are a fan of Tom Thumb, don’t miss Eric Lehman’s Tom Thumb Lecture on Sunday, December 15, at 2 p.m. . Attendees will get a first look at Eric D. Lehman’s new biography of Bridgeport’s own Charles Stratton, Becoming Tom Thumb. Lehman tells the full story of this iconic figure for the first time. The book details his triumphs on the New York stage, his epic celebrity wedding, his meetings with Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria, and his around-the-world tour, drawing on newly available primary sources and interviews. From the mansions of Paris to the deserts of Australia, Stratton’s unique brand of Yankee comedy not only earned him the accolades of millions of fans, it helped move little people out of the side show and into the lime light. Eric D. Lehman teaches travel literature, history, and creative writing at the University of Bridgeport. He is the author of seven books about Connecticut, including A History of Connecticut Food andInsiders’ Guide to Connecticut. Admission $5.
On Wednesday, December 18, 12 p.m. Kathleen Maher, the Museum’s Executive Director will present Celebrate the Season. This presentation will take participants on a fascinating journey back in time to holiday festivities of bygone days. Maher will present the evolution of the tales and traditions of a Victorian age Christmas. $2 suggested donation.
The Barnum Museum is located on 820 Main Street in Bridgeport in the People’s United Bank Gallery, entry located at the back of the historic building, or McLevy Green on Dec. 5. Call for more information 203-331-1104 ext.100, M-F, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Barnum Museum Holiday schedule:
Sat, Dec. 21 through Weds, Dec. 25 - The Barnum Museum will be closed
Thurs. & Fri., Dec. 26 & 27 - Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Weds. Jan. 1 - The Barnum Museum will be closed
Thurs. & Fri., Jan. 2 & 3 - Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The back exhibition hall of the museum, featuring artifacts that belonged to P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb and others, is open for viewing and exploration on Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To learn more about The Barnum Museum’s current programs visit www.barnum-museum.org. You can also visit the museum on Facebook, view past programs at www.barnummuseumexhibitions.org or communicate on Twitter @BarnumMuseum.
The original Barnum Institute building is owned by the City of Bridgeport and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.