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Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio announced today that the Freeholders, in collaboration with the non-profit Friends of the Mansion at Smithville, will be hosting their annual Victorian Times celebration at Historic Smithville Park on Sunday, May 7 from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine.
“The Victorian Times celebration will officially kick off the mansion’s summer tour season,” said Director Garganio. “With free parking and admission, folks can spend the afternoon with Friends of the Mansion at Historic Smithville Park enjoying fun and games from the past.”
“Throughout the afternoon, kids of all ages will be invited to partake and learn about a variety of games and activities that Hezekiah B. Smith and his wife Agnes may have enjoyed while residing at Smithville in the late 1800s when Smith’s model industrial town thrived,” continued Garganio. “There will be face painting and make-and-take crafts for the kids.”
Victorian Era music and entertainment will take place throughout the park by the Pine Baron Chorus, Charlie Zahm, Libby Prison Minstrel, Victorian Dancers and Jersey Sound Chorus.
“Visitors can take a guided tour of the village or read the interpretive signs for self-guided walk at their leisure. There will be a trackless “CHOO CHOO” train to give a tour of the village. While visiting the village you can expect to see court Jesters, Harlequins, and magicians strolling the grounds,” said Garganio.
“Other attractions include old fashion Punch and Judy Shows at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., croquet, tug of war, potato races, giant jenga, a photo booth with vintage props and much more,” added Garganio. “Kid’s crafts include Victorian hats, basket making and leather tooling.”
Join in for lessons in tea etiquette at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. then venture to the Smithville Mansion dining room for the real deal and put into practice what you just learned. Tea in the dining room of the mansion will be offered for $5 per person including tea sandwiches and desserts.
“Guests are also encouraged to tour the Historic Smithville Mansion, built in 1840 and furnished to reflect Smithville’s heyday for a $4 fee. Visitors are invited to explore the Underground Railroad Museum or visit the grand re-opening of the School House Museum,” said Garganio.
Visitors will also have an opportunity to visit the Historic Smithville Mansion Annex Gallery, located on the 2nd floor of the mansion, to view the re-purposeful art exhibit, spotlighting local artists.
Historic Smithville Park is located on Smithville Road, three quarters of a mile off Route 38 in Eastampton. For more information about the event, call the Division of Parks at (609) 265-5858 or visit www.co.burlington.nj.us/235/parks.