And you think decorating YOUR house for the holidays is a lot of work. The staff at the Family Museum in Bettendorf has completed decorating the museum for Christmas and WinterFest, the museum’s annual holiday celebration, which will be noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the museum at 2900 Learning Campus Drive.

It’s not an easy task. Exhibits manager Tom Stanger said it took five people a whole day to put together the 300-square-foot toy train set that runs just inside the museum’s entrance.

Fortunately, Stanger said, the group that assembled the train set is experienced.

“Everybody’s done it before, so it goes a little faster,” he said.

There is also the assembly of half-a-dozen Christmas trees and the untangling of the lights that go on them and setting up the animated figurines that used to decorate the window of the former downtown Petersen Harned Von Maur store in Davenport. The von Maur family donated the figures to the museum in 1990.

Despite the fact that the mechanized figurines that show scenes from Santa’s workshop are at least 50 years old, Stanger said they don’t require much maintenance aside from lubrication, an occasional new motor and new costumes now and then.

“They’ve been surprisingly durable,” Stanger said.

Museum spokeswoman Elly Gerdts said the display is something children don’t often see anymore and brings back holiday memories for adult visitors.

“We get people coming here just to see these displays,” Gerdts said. “They remember them from their childhood and are glad they are on public display.”

Activities planned for Sunday’s WinterFest include dance performances from “The Nutcracker” by the Family Museum LimeLight Dancers, a performance by the Pleasant Valley High School Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble, refreshments, crafts and a visit from Santa Claus from 2-4 p.m.

Admission is free with the donation of a nonperishable food item or a monetary donation to a local food pantry.

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(1) comment

bain83
bain83

I remember these as a child more then 40 years ago...

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