Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saginaw's Castle Museum offers a summer of cultural 'trips'

by Janet I. Martineau
Travel costs and airport security issues leaving you unsettled about summer plans? 
How about the chance to visit China, Eastern Europe, Germany, Great Britain, French Canada and the Middle East -- all without leaving Saginaw and for the grand total of $14 if you include all the destinations.
Once again the Castle Museum of Saginaw County, 500 Federal, is offering a series of culture celebrations, starting Tuesday (June 19) and running through Aug. 16.
Each Tuesday and Thursday, at noon, it’s a different country. Most of the programs run an hour, for travelers who have daytime jobs. Each one, for $1 admission, includes a culturally-themed dessert and beverage (and because of that, reservations are required by calling 752-2861, ext. 315).
Following is the itinerary (with July 31/Aug. 2 TBA):
Tuesday, June 19, tai chi instructor Jim Bush from Cloud Hands Michigan shares the history of tai chi, explains what it is and demonstrates some of the moves.
Thursday, June 21, participants of all ages will make their own dragon kite and learn about the significance of kites in Chinese culture.
Tom, Diane Bradley
Tuesday, June 26,  Tom and Diane Bradley of Bannister will demonstrate Czechoslovakian polka music and dancing. The couple was recently inducted into the Michigan Polka Music Hall of Fame and has been teaching and performing for many  years.
Thursday, June 28,  Hoyt Library’s Linda Bryant will discuss the significance of Russian fairy tales and fables and introduce some of the most famous writers and stories. She will finish by reading a few of her favorite stories.

Tuesday, July 10, Dr. Waheed Akbar will  explain what Islam is in a lecture titled “Knowing Islam.” There also will be a small display of items reflecting Islamic culture.
Thursday, July 12, in an “Islam Sampler,” participants can visit “stations” and learn about Islamic art, music, food and henna tattoos.
Tuesday, July 17, During “Breweries in Saginaw: One Family’s Story,”  Bob Rosa will discuss his family’s history owning and operating some of the area’s breweries at the turn of the 20th century.
Thursday, July 19 – To Be Announced.
Tuesday, July 24, D.  Laurence Rogers will investigate “The Legend of Paul Bunyan.” Somewhere in the old St. Joseph Cemetery in Bay City lies the last remains of Fabian “Joe” Fournier -- a man whom many are  convinced inspired a major portion of the legendary figure Paul Bunyan. 
Rogers wrote the  book “Paul Bunyan: How a Terrible Timber Feller Became a Legend” in which he outlines his theory with enough evidence from many sources to present a convincing case.
The Saginaw Voyageurs
Thursday, July 26, The Saginaw Voyageurs is a living history re-enactment group sponsored by the Castle Museum. 

The members participate in a journey each summer tracing the routes of the original Voyageurs and fur traders of the Great Lakes as a way to promote an understanding and appreciation for the early Great Lakes fur trade, the life of the voyageurs, and the role Saginaw played as the fur trading center. 
Voyageur John Severs will talk about the group and what it does and where the group is going in early August as it prepares for its 27th annual excursion.

Tuesday, Aug. 7, the summer Olympics are in London this year, so in “The Olympics, Facts and Fun” participants will play a game related to the Olympics, hear a brief history of the Olympic Games, and test their knowledge on the flags and countries of the more than  200 nations that participate in the Olympics.
Thursday, Aug. 9, bring your own tea cup and enjoy a traditional British high tea. Great Britain native Maureen Jones, who now lives in Saginaw, will talk about tea time in Great Britain as one and all enjoys some delectable finger foods and a nice cup of tea.

Tuesday, Aug. 14, the owners of A Touch of Cajun in Saginaw will share some of their favorite foods and explain what Cajun cooking is all about.
Thursday, Aug. 16, a lively performance by the Saucecats, formed in the fall of 2001 by a group of seasoned musicians seeking to play New Orleans funk, zydeco, blues, Latin and Caribbean music.

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