Bartow, Fla (Nov. 4, 2020) -- Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are to be held virtually and are open to the public and free of charge:
• Nov. 12, 5 p.m. – 10th Annual Festival of Wreaths
o Herald the arrival of the holiday season at the History Center with the 10th Annual Festival of Wreaths and Silent Auction. The wreaths will be on display from Nov. 12 until Dec. 16, when high bidders begin picking up the wreaths to decorate their homes across the county.
Opening night will look a little different this year due to COVID-19 protocols. This year, the event will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube and features a tour of the available wreaths, the history of Santa, told by the Jolly Old Elf, music and additional entertainment.
What will not change is the always colorful and unique wreaths that fill the halls of the History Center and the opportunity to purchase them through the online silent auction. Proceeds benefit History Center programming.
• Nov. 14, 11:30 a.m. – Kathleen Baptist Church Historical Marker Ceremony
o In a partnership between Kathleen Baptist Church and the Polk County Historical Commission, a historical marker for Kathleen Baptist Church will be unveiled on the site of the present day sanctuary, 3939 Second St. NW. The ceremony will celebrate and preserve the 125-year history of the church which was formally established in 1895.
• Nov. 21, 11 a.m. Architectural Tour
o Join us for an architectural tour of the History Center and learn about neoclassical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. The architecture is especially stunning during the holiday season when the building is decorated with wreaths. The architectural tour is at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month.
• Nov. 20, 4 p.m. Selfies with Santa
o Santa Claus and one of his elves will be in his study at the History Center for Selfies with Santa between 4 and 6 p.m. Reservations are required and social distancing practices will be in place to keep Santa and children safe and healthy. Contact LoisSherrouse-Murphy@polk-county.net to reserve some special time with Santa.
• History Center Holiday Closures
o The History Center will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day, and on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26 and 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Polk County History Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow. Visit www.polkhistorycenter.org or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All programs and events are free and open to the public.