St. Lucia Celebration at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City

The Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City is putting on a St. Lucia Celebration on Sunday, December 12, 2010 in conjunction with the Celebrating Women exhibition which features photographs of Santa Lucia festivals in Sweden.

The Santa Lucia tradition is a celebration of the passing of the darkest time of the year and the rebirth of the bright New Year. The legend of Santa Lucia dates back to the year 284 when Lucia, a  young Italian girl refused to renounce her faith. Her dedication to caring for the poor of her city led her to use all her bridal dowry for their survival needs to the dismay of her husband-to-be. She was executed at the age of 20 and later declared a saint by the common people when her image appeared in the sky all across the European continent.

To this day, people in Scandinavia celebrate this occasion by having processions of the local Lucia girl and her court bringing  light to audiences with candles, song, music, and food.

The focus of the celebration will be a St. Lucia Concert at 3 pm in Milliken Auditorium. This event marks the 25th anniversary of the celebration in the Traverse City area and features a variety of performers including the flute students of Lisa Johansson, Director of Northwind Flute Studios; the acoustic group Freya (Lisa and Ingemar Johansson, Sue Wood, and Gary Cook); singer songwriters Emma Cook and Dianne and Noemi DeRib; vocalist Sage DeAgro; poet bard Norm Wheeler; and guest appearance by Song of the Lakes. There will be a flute play-along of Pachelbels Canon in which area  flutist are invited to join on. (Register by contacting [email protected]).

Arts and crafts projects, the exhibitions, and a display about celebrations of light from around the world will be available in the museum from 1–5 pm.

Tickets are $5 for museum members and $7 for nonmembers and are available at  As St. Lucia is honored for being kind and helping to feed the hungry, the Dennos will be collecting canned and dry goods for Father Fred.  Ticket buyers that bring a food donation will receive $1 off of their ticket price when tickets are purchased at the box office.

We invite community members to participate and share the ways they celebrate the winter solstice as part of this celebration.  The displays will need to be set up Saturday, December 11, 2010 and be on display Sunday and Monday, December 12–13, 2010.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Diana Bolander at 231-995-1029.

A program for K-12 students will be offered on Monday, December 13,  2010.  Call (231) 995-1029 for more information.

This program is presented in conjunction with the Celebrating Women exhibition of photo journalist Paola Gianturco’s photography featuring festivals for women in the countries of Swaziland, Poland, India, Sweden, Brazil, and Morocco.

The Dennos Museum Center is open Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM,  Thursday until 8 PM and Sundays 1-5 PM. Admission is $6 adults, $4 for children and free to museum members. For more information on the Museum and exhibition, go to or call 231-995-1055. The Dennos Museum Center is located at 1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686, at the entrance to the campus of Northwestern Michigan College.

Find more wonderful Northern Michigan holiday events in the MyNorth Calendar.