NAPPANEE — When the lights go out at the Nappanee Center on Saturday, history will come to life.
The second annual “Night at the Museum” event highlights local history through live re-enactments of famous Nappanee natives and events.
Visitors of the center will be greeted by the Coppes Dutch-maid and guided by “lamplight” through six interactive vignettes. Each spot-lit scene will feature actors portraying famous Nappanee historical figures, including a nationally recognized cartoonist and members of an early Nappanee service club.
Tour guides carrying flashlights will lead small groups through the exhibit between 6 and 8 p.m.
One of the scenes will feature a young Merrill Blosser, who at 12 years old won a national essay contest and a trip to meet Theodore Roosevelt in the White House. Blosser later went on to become the well-known cartoonist of the “Freckles and His Friends” comic strip.
Five women will re-enact a scene depicting the Thursday Club, a group that advocated the construction of the Nappanee Public Library. Another scene will teach visitors about the Onion Festival, the predecessor to Nappanee’s annual Apple Festival.
Martha Weirich, coordinator of the Evelyn Lehman Culp Heritage Collection, said the evening will differ significantly from last year’s presentation because it includes all-new historical scenes.
Preparations for the event began in April when Weirich compiled a list of stories from Nappanee’s history. She wrote the script in May and cast the show by August.
“I’m excited to see it all come together, see each scene come to life,” Weirich said.
Most of the actors are volunteers from the community, and the cast includes a large number of children, the youngest being 6 years old. Many were in last year’s production.
Last October more than 100 people attended the event. Weirich expects a similar turnout this year.
“Night at the Museum” is sponsored by the Nappanee Public Library in partnership with the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. For more information about this free family event, call 574-773-7919.