Category Archives: Springfield Museum

Taking Care Of Business: Women At Work (Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA)

Date Of Visit:

Location: Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History

Hours:

Monday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday:
 11 am–5 pm

Holidays

Closed: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Open: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Patriots’ Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.

Cost:

1 Ticket = 5 Museums

Adults: $25
Seniors (60+): $16.50
College Students: $16.50
Youth 3–17:
 $13
Children Under 3: Free

Springfield Residents (with valid ID): Free – youth included

Special exhibit fees may apply to all visitors.

 

Parking: Free parking is available in the main parking lot and an overflow lot is located across the street

Universally Acceptable:

  • All buildings are accessible and equipped with accessible restrooms.
  • Accessible parking is available.
  • Mobility devices are allowed.
  • A limited number of wheelchairs are available in the Welcome Center and the lobbies of the D’Amour Art Museum, Wood Museum of Springfield History and GWV Smith Art Museum.
  • Due to ongoing construction, please ask our Welcome Center staff in advance for assistance in accessing the GWV Smith Art Museum.
  • For other questions regarding accessibility, please contact our security office at security@springfieldmuseums.org or 413-779-2156.

Dog Friendly: No

Website: Taking Care Of Business

Summary: A collection of memorabilia which showcase the women’s labor movement.

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The Taking Care Of Business exhibit at the Springfield Museums in Springfield, MA, pays tribute to some of our unsung heroes.  The exhibit shows how women have played an integral role in the work we do and how their roles have changed over time.

One of the first exhibits at the museum has a collection of Girl Scout ribbons, patches and literature.

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The Girl Scouts patches, ribbons and other memorabilia are from a Connecticut Girl Scout the 1930s. One interesting thing about the Girl Scouts and their badges is how much they have changed over time.  Badges were once earned for sewing and domestic skills.  Now, Girl Scouts can earn badges in such areas as computer skills, robotics, entrepreneurship and outdoor activities.  The magazine is from 1967.

Since the museum is located in Springfield, MA, many of the items have a tie to the area.  These medical instruments and memorabilia from the school pictured below are from the Springfield Hospital School of Nursing.

 

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The items included in the display are a 1920s microscope, Springfield School of Nursing class rings from 1931, 1946, 1949 and 1959.  There are also bottled medicinal pills and alcohol, a cased thermometer, a nurse’s watch, cap and cap clips, a cased hypodermic needle, miniature balance scale for weighing medicines, ear irrigator, nursing school graduation pins dated 1895 and 1946, clamps, birthing scissors to cut umbilical cords, a Springfield Hospital School of Nursing handbook and a first aid guide.

The exhibit didn’t exclusively focus on the advancement of women in the workplace. The exhibit below displays the efforts of women during war time.  From helping to recruit people for the war effort, rationing supplies and working at the USO, women contributed greatly to support the war effort and the troops who served and came back.  In the display below there are rationing books, fundraising and recruitment literature and rationing stamps.

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Styles have also changed over the years.  The display below contains a variety of the headwear that women wore during the earlier part and middle part of the 1900s.

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Speaking of style, the styles of the women who served their country have also changed over time.  This uniform, a Pioneer Valley WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) uniform (circa 1944), was worn and gifted to the museum by Jean Fillion (Bates), Mailman Second Class U.S. Navy Reserve.  The purse was a nice touch.  At times, as I put this post together I had to keep reminding myself, “this was the 40s.”

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This uniform is the Springfield School of Nursing Cadet Corps uniform (circa 1945-48).

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Even before they were eligible to serve during wars, women have played a pivotal role in the military.  One of the groups of women who were mentioned in the placard at the museum were “The Sisters Of The Holy Cross” who were aboard the Confederate steam ship the “USS Red Rover.” Women also served as Navy Yeomen during World War I.

As you exit the exhibit, there is a blackboard for visitors to write the name of a woman who they are inspired by.  What name would you write on the board?

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The “Taking Care Of Business” exhibit is scheduled to be on display until August 25 of this year.


Ice Invasion (Springfield, MA)

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Date Of Visit: January 26, 2019 (usually the last weekend of January)

Location: MGM Casino, One MGM Way, Springfield, MA and Downtown Springfield, MA area (about 2 hours west of Boston and 30 minutes north of Hartford, CT)

Cost: Free

Parking: There is parking available throughout the city and parking garages in the city.  Free parking to view the ice carving demonstration is also available at the MGM Casino.  Parking info available at the attached link: Parking In Springfield

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: ice sculptures, ice carving demonstration

Summary: Thirteen ice sculptures of various shapes and sizes carved by Joe Almeida located throughout the city of Springfield (I found 11 of them).  Joe also conducted an ice carving demonstration during the Ice Invasion event.  Some of the sculptures are lit up at night.

Website: Ice Invasion

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While ice is nothing unusual this time of the year in New England, there was an ice invasion of a different sort this past weekend in Springfield, MA.

This Ice Invasion was part of the American Hockey League (AHL) All Star Classic celebration which was being held at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA.

Joe Almeida of Sculptures In Ice carved all of the sculptures for the event.  He kicked off the Ice Invasion with a live carving demonstration in front of the Armory in the common area on the grounds of the  Saturday afternoon.  Joe said the ice blocks can weigh up to as much as 300 pounds and he uses snow to write the MGM and Springfield in the sculpture.  The lights at the bottom of the sculpture give the golden color which is emblematic of the MGM Casino logo.

The first sculpture at the Ice Invasion was at the outdoor skating rink at the MGM.  Unfortunately, no one was skating during my visit.

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Most of the sculptures were located on Main St with a few located on the side streets (see link in the description above to view a map of all of the locations).

The most appropriate sculpture was a sculpture of a hockey player wearing a Springfield Thundercats uniform.

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Most of the other sculptures had a winter theme to them such as this ice sculpture of a person sledding.

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And this snowflake.

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While it certainly was cold and breezy, the temperatures were in the high 20s to low 30s and the sun was out.  So there was some melting noticeable.  In fact, it was a little hard to see some of the features of some of the sculptures and it was hard to tell what one of them was, specifically the sculpture at the Spring Museum.  I think it was a dragon.

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There were also two sculptures of people throwing snowballs.

This guy was very cold.

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There was also wildlife at the Ice Invasion.  This penguin was hanging out outside Union Station.

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And this bear

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All of the ice sculptures, except one, were in walking distance (although it was a fairly solid walk – my Fitbit recorded 5 miles back and forth during our stroll).  But, I did drive to photograph the last sculpture at the Springfield Museum.

Something to keep in mind is that some of the sculptures on the map were not on display.

Now, sadly, we are in store for a real ice invasion.

Below is a video of a news report on the local news about the event.  Who is that in the video at the 40 second mark?

 

Also, I have been posting on another page called Hidden New England.  I am focusing on some of the lesser known or “hidden treasures” of New England in this blog.  There may be some overlap from some places I have visited previously in this blog.  But I am also finding new hidden gems in the area to post about.  Please follow my blog and take a look at my Facebook page as well.  Here is the link to my Hidden New England page on WordPress: Hidden New England

The link to my Facebook page for Hidden New England is here : Hidden New England

Similar events and places I have visited:

2018 Greenfield Carnival Ice Sculptures

2018 Salem’s So Sweet Ice Sculptures

Things to do in the area:

MGM Springfield

Springfield Museums

 

 

 

 


Collecting Camelot: The Kennedy Era And Its Collectibles (Springfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: December 27, 2017

Location: Springfield Museum, Wood Museum of Springfield History

Hours:

Tuesday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday: 11 am–5 pm
Monday: Closed

Cost:

Adults: $25
Seniors (60+): $16.50
Youth 3–17: $13
Children Under 3: Free
Students: $16.50

Springfield Residents (with valid ID): Free –

Parking: There is a parking lot for about 40 cars in the main parking lot and parking across the street

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Website: Collecting Camelot

Highlights:memorabilia and collectibles related to or from the Kennedy era

Tips:

  • The exhibit is on display until March 25, 2018
  • There is another JFK exhibit at the Springfield Museum called “Jack And Jackie: The Kennedy’s IN The White House” in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts building but photography is not allowed at that exhibit

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During what would be the 100th year of former President Kennedy, the Springfield Museum is displaying historical items from the Kennedy era. While you might expect to see politically related items at a museum, the Springfield Museum has collectibles of a different kind.

The items, which were on loan from a museum patron, vary from the historical to the humorous.

The Jackie The doll and the accessories for the Jackie doll was made by the Franklin mint in the 1990’s. The Peach Day Dress on the doll is an exact replica of the dress the former First Lady wore during her visit to India in 1962.

There are a large collection of campaign pins, commemorative coins, stamps and other memorabilia from the Kennedy campaign for President.

It’s interesting how some of the trends and fashion styles come and go and then come back again. Isn’t a famous politician these days known for his red ties? And Kennedy’s famous Wayfarers never seem to go out of style.

I’ve also noticed that people from most backgrounds and beliefs have some form of respect or at least interest in the Kennedys despite their political beliefs or personal matters. It also seems like people respected the office of the President more than people do today and that respect has continued as part of his legacy. Of course, his untimely and tragic death has also played a part in the curiosity into what could have been.

Everything from coloring books, masks for Halloween, figurines and even a record that allowed you to “sing with the President”, there were numerous items to commemorate the former President.

There were also several portraits and magazine covers of Kennedy and his family, most notably his wife, Jackie, for your viewing pleasure.

Style and fashion have also been associated with the Kennedy’s and they are also evident at the exhibit.

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There are also two quilts and a bust of John F Kennedy that are on display at the exhibit.

The Simulated Diamond Crystal Sunburst pin is part of the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection of costume jewelry issued by Camrose and Kross of Bontoon. NJ. The pin is made of Swarovski crystals and metal alloys and is platinum plated. Jacqueline Kennedy saw the pin at Wartski’s during one of her visits in London and the pin became one of her favorite pieces of jewelry. She wore the pin on numerous occasions.

Jackie’s iconic glasses, gloves and pearls are also included in this display.

Ok, but does he have the “Kung Fu grip”?

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As an added bonus, at the end of the exhibit, you can also take a selfie with Jack and Jackie!

Please stop by my Facebook page and consider liking my page for updates, links, photos and videos not included on my blog! Thank you!


Gingerbread In Space (Springfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: December 27, 2017 (the annual display is up during the last week of each year)

Location: Springfield Museums, 21 Edwin St, Springfield, MA

Parking: There is free parking in the main parking area for about 50 cars and an overflow lot across the street

Website: Gingerbread In Space

Highlights: Gingerbread houses with a twist

Tips:

  • Today, December 31, 2017, is the last day to view these mouth watering homes

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Gingerbread and sci-fi.  Sounds like a pretty good combination to me.

Gingerbread houses, a staple of the holiday season in New England, were mixed with sci-fi themes to put a new twist on holiday decor.

The gingerbread competition was broken up into three categories: Professional Division: Bake Shops, Caterers, Restaurants, or Professional Bakers, Adult Division: Individual or group adult, age 18 & up and Youth Division: Individual or group youth, age 8-17.  Although the artists could use non-food items in their displays, all of the exteriors of the displays were made entirely out of gingerbread or some other food or food substance.

Christmas trees and sci-fi themed murals lined the walls of the room where the gingerbread houses were kept.

The gingerbread house competition is an annual event the museum holds.  They will be on display until December 31.  Although there  are a few displays that were created by participants outside of the area,  almost all of the displays were created by people in the western MA area from places such as Wilbraham, Springfield and Feeding Hills.

One thing I noticed about the displays were how hard it would be able to tell the adult and youth displays apart.  The youth division participants (perhaps with a little help from mom and dad) did a great job!

The first group of gingerbread houses on display are the gingerbread houses from the youth division .

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“The Gingerbread in Space” depicts a gingerbread rice krispies moon with a gingerbread rocket and a floating gingerbread man with a star background.  The artist used crispies, wafers, gum drops, peach rings, Nerds, Smarties, M&M’s, candy corn, sugar, rice, cinnamon sticks, life savers and candy canes.

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“Moonwalk” is an astronomy themed display.  The American flag is made out of Twizzlers with a pretzel stick holding up the flag.  The planet Earth is held up by a pretzel stick and is made out of Airheads.

The moon and its base are made out of gingerbread cake mix.  A home made gingerbread house is on the moon with a glass-dome covering over the gingerbread house.  Outside the house, the gingerbread man is taking his god for a walk and the gingerbread son is in the space car.

 

“Imagine” was inspired by the magic of imagination and the power of literature to evoke it.

The gingerbread planets were made by using globe pans.  Cotton candy, food coloring, frosting with food coloring were used as paint, gum paste and modeling chocolate were used for decorating.  The tower is made of gingerbread.

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“Blast Off” was inspired by the artist’s love of space.  The main body of the rocket is made of gingerbread with fondant accents and red hots rivets.  The top of the rocket has a peach ring and two gummy candies.  The smoke from the blast off is made from cotton candy and the rocket is flying in a universe full of giant Jawbreaker planets and candy stars.  The universe is made of fondant.

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“Somewhere Out There” was inspired, in part, by the movie Avatar.

The display is mostly made of gingerbread or royal icing coated with silver edible food coloring.  Modeling chocolate and Rice Krispies treats were used to make the mountains.  Fondant was used to create some of the colorful alien forms.  Isomalt and modeling chocolate were used to create waterways and tubes.  Special icing was used to create the flowers.  Silver sprinkles and candies were used to accent the buildings.

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As you might expect, “The Star Destroyer” was largely inspired by the movie Star Wars

The planet was made from spherical section of fondant, covered in a gingerbread shell and painted in frosting.  triangular sections of gingerbread, glued together with frosting, make up the ships.

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“Forest Moon Of Endor (Yub Nub!)” is a nod to the Ewoks home from Return Of The Jedi.  Subtitled as, “Yub nub, eboka chu toota!” (roughly translated in Ewok to “This is the home of the Ewoks”), this display is made of Mentos, gingerbread, chocolate Teddy Grahams, Twizzlers, fondant, icing, pretzel rods.

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“Hopper And Eleven;s Cabin” was inspired by the hit Netflix show, Stranger Things. (I’m so glad the names and descriptions on this displays explained where some of these phrases came from)  This display is made of gingerbread, pretzels, ice cream cones, royal icing, green sprinkles, Wilton spray icing, licorice, mini Shredded Wheats.

 

“Santa’s Elves” is a display based on a holiday scene featuring Santa’s elves in their workshop.

The display is made of gingerbread, pretzel sticks, Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Tootsie Pops and royal icing.

 

“Silver 6” is based on a novel about a giant robot attack.

This display is made of gingerbread, fondant, licorice, Hershey bars, Sour Patch Kids, marshmallow and Royal icing.

 

“Main Street, Mars Christmas Morning” depicts a Mars town on Christmas day.  Since no one has been to Mars, the creators of this display imagined what Christmas would look like on Mars.

This display, which was a group youth effort by the Girl Scout Troop 11248 in Feeding Hills, MA, is made of gingerbread, royal icing, Jolly Rancher’s and leftover Halloween candy.  The alien residents are made of Rice Krispie treats.  The ground cover is made of flour.  The roads are paved with Starlight mints.

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“The Battle Of Endoe” was inspired by the movie, Return Of The Jedi.

The shelter and the trees are made of gingerbread.  The tops of the trees are made of chocolate covered with fruit stems and green colored Rice Krispies, modeling chocolate, gum paste and assorted candies.  The platforms and roof are made from fondant.  The vines are made of green candy apple licorice.

IMG_8521 “Stary Seuss Night By Grinch Van Gogh” was inspired by astronomy, art, the stars and sky and of course, Springfield native, Dr. Seuss.

This display is made of gingerbread, frosting, fondant, fudge and other food ingredients.

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“My Life As A Teenage Robot” was based on a science fiction story, XJ-9.

This display is made of fondant, gingerbread, purple Nerds, Mike And Ikes and Royal icing.

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“Empire Strikes NASA” was created by eight members of Girl Scout Troop 20559 from Feeding Hills, MA.  The back story to this display is that the Empire has learned of water bears, which NASA has created.  These “water bears” are able to exist in space.  Will NASA be able to defend these creatures?  Or, will they fall into the evil clutches of the Empire?

The buildings are made out of gingerbread using various cookie cutters for gingerbread decorations.  Darth Vader is made out of fondant.  Various candies and frosting were used to create the parking lot and the decorations.  Marshmallow Stormtroopers were decorated with an edible decorating pen.

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“Yoda’s Hut” was inspired by the Star Wars series of films, particularly The Empire Strikes Back, and by some friends of the artist who had submitted a display last year.

This display is made out of gingerbread, fondant, poured sugar, candy canes, brownie brittle, caramel bits and Rice Krispie treats.

“Elf Of The North” was inspired by a fantasy movie.

The display is made out of candy canes, taffy, maple syrup, sugar, pretzels, gumdrops, ice cream cones, fondant and other candy.

Adult division:

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“UFO Rest Stop” is made of a gingerbread UFO that was painted with a colored sugar glaze.  The leg supports are made out of Cow Tales candy.  The asteroid landscape is hand-sculpted gingerbread.  The aliens were made out of fondant.  In the cockpit are computers made out of Chicklit gum.

The artist of this gingerbread house said, “UFO sightings have always been a part of science fiction culture.”

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“Wall-E and Eve” is made out of structural gingerbread.  Frosting, fondant and various candies were used for details and coloring.

The artist said the idea of this gingerbread house display was inspired by the movie WALL-E but more importantly by the theme of WALL-E and EVE looking out for each other and that, “taking care of each other is the most important thing we can do.”

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“Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me” is made of frosting, edible paint, glitter, pretzels, mints, M&M’s, sprinkles, Frosted Mini Wheat cereal, peppermint and cookies.

 

“Alien Spaceship” was inspired by the artists’ overall love of anything sci-fi and the show The Orville.  This display was created by a mother and son team.

The spaceship is made of gingerbread over Rice Krispies treats which were coated with vanilla frosting and silver cake gems.  The windows striping on the ship and the sky were all made with icing and food coloring.  The candies on the ship are Skittles, Sixlets, Mini Starbursts and Gobstoppers.  The lights on the ship are made of citrus gummies and the aliens are Sour Patch Kids.  Edible cake decorations were used for the stars and Necco Wafers with Pixie Stick powder comprise the comets.

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“WALL-E and EVE’s First Christmas Together.”  WALL-E is constructed from gingerbread, icing, fondant and sugar work.  Eve is made out of Rice Krispy treats and fondant.

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The name of this display, “Don’t Panic”, came from the Douglas Adams book The Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Universe.  The characters are made of gum paste.  The roofs are made of black licorice.  Gingerbread, candy canes, rock candy,   fabric, edible paper, sour apple strings, colored sprinkles, decogel, Starlight candies, gum drops, ice cream cones and other foods make up the rest of the display.

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“Signs Of Christmas” is largely based on the movie Signs and a science fiction story with a holiday twist.

The ingredients used to make the display are Graham Crackers, Royal icing, fondant, buttercream frosting, coconut flakes, gumdrops, spiral mints and sugar sprinkles.

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“The Time Machine” is based on the book and film(s) of the same name.

The display is made of gingerbread, pasta, fondant, Rice Krispy treats, coconut, gum paste, gumballs, sprinkles and Mike And Ikes.

 

The vision of “Magical Moments” was to create “stained glass” windows and shining sugar creations.

This display is made of sugar, corn syrup, marshmallows, candy corn, candy canes, Halloween chocolates, lollipops, sprinkles, Tootsie Rolls and gingerbread.

“When Worlds Collide” is an homage to Star Wars and the famous parody of Star Wars, Space Balls.  In an attempt to evade the evil Dark Helmet, The Eagle 5 Space RV hyper spaced to the wrong destination and ended up in the atmosphere of Tatooine where C3PO, R2D2 and BB8 were there to greet them.

The display is made of gingerbread and an assortment of candies.

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“Merry Droidmas” is a homage to the Star Wars characters R2D2 and BBB8.

This display was made out of sugar sheets, modeling chocolate, royal icing, licorice and chocolate candies.

Professional division:

 

“Baking Up Galactic Fun” was created by Chef Janice Desmarais.  It is made of fondant, crushed, candies, crackers, cereals, royal icing and gingerbread.   And, yes, as the photos suggest, the lights do blink.  Janice is the head chef at Japonaise Bakery in Brookline, MA.

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“Out Of This World Magical Christmas” is a message of joy and peace and love.  The monster and friends are shining light of Christmas on the world.

This display is made of gingerbread, frosting, candies and lights.

“Winter Wizards Magic Corn Farm They Came From Outer Space” is the creme de la cream (pun very much intended) of the competition.

The artist said he was inspired the movies The Day The Earth Stood Still and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  He wanted to included a farm setting, replete with a crop circle which was left behind by the spaceship in the display.

lThis display was made by a participant who creates gingerbread displays every year for the competition.  One of the staff workers at the museum told me it took several people to carry it carefully to the room (up a flight of stairs  mind you).  The artist, Eric Hirsh from Mystic, CT, makes the general shape of the gingerbread display.  Then, when the museum tells him the particular theme each year, he tailors his display to the particular theme.

The display is made out of Mike And Ikes, Twizzlers, Kit-Kat, black sesame seed, Skittles, black licorice, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, gummy bears, candy corn, Harvest Mix, Mini Oreos, gumballs, candy canes, Hershey bars, Jolly Rancher lollipops, ice cream cones, frosting and gingerbread.

You could vote for a display from each division and there was a sheet for children, or anyone really I suppose, to look for and check off different aspects from all of the displays.  For instance, one of the questions asks how many WALL-E’s are in the exhibit.  It’s a great way to get children more involved and make the exhibit even more fun!

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2017 has been a great year blogging!  I have met some very interesting and amazing people, and, of course, dogs!  I wanted to thank everyone who has read my posts, allowed me to photograph them and their dogs and for all of the support this year!  I look forward to sharing many more of my adventures and experiences in the upcoming year!  Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2018!

A great way to start of the new year would be to check out my Facebook page and consider joining my page!

 

 


Indian Motorcycle Day 2017 (Springfield, MA)

 

 

Date Of Event: July 23, 2017

Location: Springfield Museum, 21 Edwards St, Springfield, MA

Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for children

Parking: There is free parking at the museum parking lot and overflow parking at the parking lot across the street

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: classic Indian motorcycles on display

Tips:

  • the festival is usually held the second Sunday of July
  • refer to the museum’s web site for the schedule of events which includes an award ceremony for the event
  • Don’t forget to visit the Lyman Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield Museum where there are additional pieces to the Indian Motorcycle collection which is displayed there year round.

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A mainstay of the Western Massachusetts and still one of the leaders in motorcycle sales, Indian Motorcycles still remains an icon of the Western MA area.  And, many of these motorcycles and bikes were on display at the annual Indian Motorcycle Day on the grounds of the Springfield Museum Springfield, MA.

Indian Motorcycle, founded in 1901, first began as an endeavor to produce a gas powered bicycle.  However, after Oscar Hedstrom produced the gas powered bicycle, they soon began producing motorcycles in Springfield, Massachusetts, the very same city the museum is located in.

The motorcycles ranged from newer models to older, classic styles.  But most of the motorcycles were older  models.  The craftsmanship and style of these motorcycles are very impressive.

Most of the motorcycles or bikes did not have the model year or model name on them.  But, this motorcycle was one of the few that did.

1948 Indian Chief

This motorcycle was actually used during World War II in Europe, according to its owner.

Some of the artwork and logos stood out to me.

There are additional Indian Motorcycles in the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum across the street from the main building at the museum.  Most of these motorcycles and bikes are located in this museum year round and they tend to focus on the much older models.

There is also a display of Indian novelty items.

Below is a video of some of the collectibles displayed at the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum.