‘Holidays on the Homestead’ at AV Indian Museum

Cowboy singer Michael Tcherkassky performs a bonfire at the 2011 event. (Contributed photo by John Martin)

Cowboy singer Michael Tcherkassky performs around a bonfire at the 2011 event. (Contributed photo by John Martin)

LANCASTER –The public is invited to the Antelope Valley Indian Museum this Saturday for an old-time country holiday celebration.

The museum, which was built as a homestead in the 1930’s, will feature a chili cook-off; a country craft boutique featuring handmade items by local crafters; homestead-era holiday décor; and cowboy songs and poetry performed around a blazing bonfire.

 “Holidays on the Homestead” takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at the museum, located at 15701 East Avenue M in Lancaster.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and free for children ages 5 and under.

“The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, the non-profit that supports the museum,” stated Jean Rhyne of California State Parks. She said fundraisers like “Holidays on the Homestead” are the primary funding source for the museum after State budget cuts almost led to the closure of the museum.

“Coming to this event will directly support the museum,” Rhyne added.

More on the Antelope Valley Indian Museum

Artist and professional set designer Howard Arden Edwards built the Indian Museum to house his collection of American Indian artifacts and decorated the Craftsman-style building with colorful representations of Indian culture and creative hand-made furniture.

His talents are represented with a craft boutique of homemade country style items, such as hand-spun and hand-knitted luxury alpaca yarn garments, clay jewelry and sculptures, found-object jewelry, hand-crafted gourmet chocolates, and American Indian-made Christmas decorations.

Howard’s wife Rose was known for her tasty chili and cornbread feasts at their 1930’s holiday celebrations.  Her tradition returns with the “Holidays on the Homestead” chili cook-off.

Attendees can sample the contestants’ delicious chili, with complementary cornbread and hot chocolate. Participants are being sought for the chili cook-off and craft booths. Contact Jean Rhyne at (661) 946-6900 or Jean.Rhyne@parks.ca.gov for an application.

Traditional cowboy songs and poetry are tales of life on the range that were composed by cattlemen, during their journeys across the old west, and then passed on around the campfire.

Cowboy performer Michael Tcherkassky will be bringing the romantic imagery of this folk pastime to life under the stars. Michael, also known as “The Saddle Serenader”, has performed cowboy songs at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival and other events around the country for many years.