Amelia Boo, dressed as Santa Lucia, offers food and drink to Papa, played by Henry Studebaker, during “God Jul at the Chellberg Farm,” a celebration of a Swedish Christmas, Dec. 8, 2012. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
AT A GLANCE
For more information about the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, go to www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm.
Updated: January 20, 2013 6:07AM
Visitors to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore stepped back in time and experienced holiday traditions celebrated by some of the region’s settlers during the annual “Holiday Traditions In the Dunes” program.
Chellberg Farm featured Swedish practices, including the legend of Santa Lucia, while Bailly Homestead presented information on French fur traders and period music. Both included displays of traditional foods.
The Nordic Kids also performed Scandinavian dances at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center. The Douglas Center, in Gary’s Miller neighborhood, offered crafts for greeting cards, ornaments and wrapping paper.
Though her fingers suffered in the cold of the unheated Bailly Homestead, Jullietta Raby, a park volunteer for almost 20 years and member of the Save the Tunes Council, played the fiddle and the octave mandolin for the program. She enjoyed playing period music for those who wandered through the homestead to learn more about the region’s history.
“I just like to keep things unplugged,” said Raby, of Chesterton.
Although Richie Muniz practically grew up hiking at the park, he’d never been inside the homestead until the festival. He went to the event with his fiancé, Amy Mote, and her parents.
Muniz, of Valparaiso, said there’s a kind of romanticism associated with the Bailly home.
“I love this place,” he said, once he finally got inside. “I’ve been peeking through the windows and dreaming.”
Although Ellen Friesenhahn camps at the national park a couple times during summer, she and her husband had never ventured to the park from their home in Chicago for other programs.
Snacking on a slice of Yule log cake, which Friesenhahn said was “really good,” she was surprised by the offseason program.
“I didn’t know so much stuff was going on,” she said, adding she also liked learning about the different cultural traditions.