Visits to the Flat River Historical Museum, kids’ activities are top things to do downtown

Open throughout the Danish festival, visitors to the Flat River Historical Society and Museum can stop by to explore the newly renovated museum, featuring a new exhibit ‘Ghosts of Greenville’s Past’. — Photo submitted

GREENVILLE – When the Danish festival begins, there will be plenty to do for people of all ages.

The Flat River Historical Museum is offering tours under extended hours for the weekend of August 20-22. The museum has undergone renovations during the coronavirus pandemic and will present its latest exhibits to patrons.

Among the new exhibits is a hologram projector that will display five characters of historical significance to Greenville in the museum’s replica Silver Theater. Among the characters depicted as holograms are Greenville founder John Green and Danish traveler August Rassmussen.

The hologram exhibit opened in June and received rave reviews at first.

“Most people were really blown away,” Flat River Historical Society president Keith Hudson said.

Workers have spent much of the pandemic renovating the museum and finding new items to create new exhibits. The upper level is designed to resemble early 19th century downtown Greenville, complete with replica stores housing mannequins.

The museum also holds a silent auction throughout the weekend. Among the prizes is the opportunity to be present when GHOST Paranormal, a paranormal investigation group from Ionia, conducts an investigation at the museum on October 2.

The hologram projector is the newest feature, along with posters of Greenville’s top actors lining the walls inside the replica Silver Theater. Dana Johnson, a local historian, will present on Rasmussen over the three days, at 4:30 p.m. on August 20 and 21 and at 1 p.m. on August 22.

There will also be plenty for the kids to do during the festival weekend.

Tower Riverside Park will transform into Hans Christian Andersen Park and events will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The events will take place at the corner of Montcalm, Lafayette and Grove streets.

Throughout the weekend, there will be craft areas where kids can make take-out items, as well as puzzle stations. There will be special themed events on Friday and Saturday. On Fridays, a magician will give shows at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., while Saturdays will offer several hours of storytelling.

There will be great Connect Four and KerPlunk games available to play and the area will be full of toys with the help of Alpha Family Services.

“Our whole business is the kids,” said Alpha Family Services Director Karen Marsman, who helps coordinate kids’ activities for the festival. “So we’ve got quite a lot of toys and things like that here, so we’re going to have like a matchbox town, we’re going to have legos, we’re going to have a dress-up area and an area where kids can have their own puppet shows.

There will also be entertainment opportunities, with Montcalm Community College hosting a drive-in screening of the Disney film, “Frozen” at 8 p.m. on August 19 and a screening of the production, “The Emperor’s Birthday Suit,” at 7 p.m. August 20 at the Hans Christian Andersen Theater.

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Patrick F. Williams