Museum exhibits its crafty side at block party

Anna Wayne, 6, carefully followed mom Andrea Wayne's directions as she braided a friendship bracelet with white, pink and fuchsia strands of embroidery floss Saturday at the Porter County Museum.

Anna was taking her first go at braiding, her mom said. The Valparaiso family stopped by the Valparaiso Farmers Market a few blocks away at Urschel Pavilion and heard something was going on at the museum.

What they found was a block party, complete with crafts, games, hamburgers and hot dogs, and other festivities.

"We're here checking out the crafts and she wants to check out the museum, too," Wayne said. "It was a good surprise."

This was the third year for the museum's block party, which started with the musuem's Stories Project, said Megan Telligman, one of the museum's coordinators.

"It still carries on the tradition of a neighborhood block party and in our case, the neighborhood is Porter County," she said, adding the block party always is themed to an exhibit.

This year, that's the museum's exhibit on Camp Goodfellow, so the block party featured friendship bracelets, lanyards and other camp crafts, as well as lawn bowling and other games.

Museum officials expected 300 to 400 people to show up for the party.

"We think of it as a way of thanking the community, too, for another year of support," Telligman said.

Nancy Clarke of Valparaiso stopped by the Memorial Opera House next door to find out about getting season tickets there and saw museum staff setting up for the block party, so she decided to stop by.

Noting the perfect weather, Clarke said she liked seeing people in the community at the museum, which she added is "wonderful" and always has new displays.

She planned on coming back with her grandson so he could check out the mastodon exhibit.

"I know he would love that," she said while munching on a hot dog and bag of chips.

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