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Historical Society’s annual Heritage Days to take place Saturday

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Jefferson County Historical Society Director William G. Wood doesn’t want people to just read about history; he wants them to live it.

That experience will come alive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 228 Washington St., as the Historical Society hosts its annual Heritage Days. The event will feature product-making, crafts, games and toys, cars and trucks, and fire engines, among many other items and tasks from as far back as the 1700s.

“When you have an event that’s fun, and people want to go fun events, people notice you above and beyond what they thought you were before,” Mr. Wood said. “Then they appreciate what’s here and learn about what else we do throughout the year. We’re looking to connect to people to give them an introduction to us.”

Mr. Wood said that is accomplished by offering a variety of live musical acts; workshops that involve making butter, maple syrup and ice cream; a classic car cruise-in; a now-and-then car comparison expo, and other new, unusual activities.

A history road rally also will take place, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. Participants will be given clues for places to drive around the county to find historical facts and information before reporting back to the agency and being scored. Prizes will be awarded to people who complete the most tasks.

Also present will be the Thousand Island Hose Haulers, an association of antique firetruck collectors. Its members will bring 24 antique firetrucks from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. An 1800s hand-pumper will be operational, and bucket-brigade re-enactments will take place.

Since the Historical Society’s back parking area will be taken over by Heritage Days activities, Mr. Wood said, the agency has received permission from the Watertown Daily Times, Key Bank, Community Bank, Watertown Savings Bank and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to use their parking lots for the day of the event.

Mr. Wood said this is the first year Heritage Days will not have an educational day for area fourth-graders, owing to budget cutbacks at area schools. It is his hope, he said, that those students and their families will still attend the one-day event.

Last year, Heritage Days drew a crowd of about 800 people. Mr. Wood said he expects Heritage Days to surpass that number this year, as well as the $7,500 raised last year.

Heritage Days is being made possible by sponsor Slack Chemical.

Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for anyone under age 18 or $10 for a family. There will be discounts to members of the military and senior citizens.

For more information, call the historical society at 782-3491.

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