“Normally we use our [1800s] cabin that we have for a lot of living history events, but this one’s a little more themed to Christmas [and] the holiday season,” said Red Top Naturalist Marcus Toft, adding people are encouraged to bring a camera and take complimentary photographs with Santa Claus. “So we’ll be having some cooking demonstrations, but we’ll be making hot cider and Christmas cookies, things that are more Christmas-related. We’ll also have the musicians. They’ll be playing some Christmas music, [and] we’re going to have some games and activities that would have been played in the 19th century around Christmastime.
“... [We want to show] the way that the holidays were celebrated 100 to 150 years ago as opposed to the way we do it now — there’s so much commercialization and it’s so much about the merchandising and everything. This is just a simpler way of celebrating it, but also a fun way and a way that can take you back and you may not have experienced before. I guess simple is the best word for [it].”
For Peggy Martin, music coordinator for the Friends of Red Top organization, the upcoming event is an ideal opportunity to showcase instruments from an earlier generation.
“[Since] the cabin is [from] the middle to late 1800s, we’re using instruments [such as] the old clawhammer banjo, the dulcimers, autoharp, hammered dulcimer, bowed dulcimer and that sort of thing,” Martin said. “So we will be doing a low-key, all-day porch picking. ... It’s fun to work with the kids when they’ve never seen any of these things before. A lot of families bring their kids in just to be able to touch and feel and hear, stand next to an instrument playing. [It’s] something they don’t see in school.
“A lot of people just seem to really enjoy the old waltzes, just the old music that was played back then [when] people didn’t have radios. They didn’t have record players. They visited neighbors. And they brought their instruments, sat on the porch and played. ... We’re happy to do things for Red Top. We love this park and we’re also happy to just have those instruments being represented.”
For more information, call 770-975-0055 or visit www.gastateparks.org. To attend the free event, individuals will need to have an annual pass or purchase a $5 daily ParkPass.