Victorian Holidays at SullivanMunce recall town’s history


By Heather Lusk

When Zionsville was founded in 1852, the Victorian era had recently begun. So bringing Victorian Holidays to the SullivanMunce Cultural Center seemed like a natural fit to museum staff volunteer Candace Ulmer.

“It’s history,” Ulmer said. “We were of that Victorian era.”

Festivities begin Dec. 2 when a direct-to-North-Pole mailbox will be unveiled by Mrs. Claus, who will also share ideas of treats her husband enjoys. Letters left in the mailbox by Dec. 21 that include a self-addressed, stamped envelope will receive a response from Santa himself. Ringing a bell after leaving a letter will alert any nearby elves to collect it.


Children’s crafts that day will have a Victorian theme. Plenty of food will be available between freshly baked items from the SullivanMunce Guild along with a chili bowl sale. Bowls can be filled for free after purchasing. The food- and microwave safe-bowls are made in the art center, with proceeds from the sale going back to the clay studio.

Ulmer said she hopes to tie into the town’s history during Victorian Holidays and to share holiday customs from the time the town began.

“It’s to bring back old traditions,” she said.

The Victorian Afternoon Tea brings these traditions back to Zionsville from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 16. While the program is free, reservations by Dec. 9 are required. Savories and tea will be served with a lesson about Christmas and high tea customs.

During the Victorian Holidays, art by local artists of all ages and abilities is on display in the gallery through Dec. 16 as part of the First Come, First Hung annual exhibition. Artists lined up the morning of Nov. 18, with the first 35 selected to show their artwork, most of which is for sale.

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