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Museum offers safe holiday shopping options, more

By Sue Sitter - | Nov 21, 2020

Submitted Photo Prairie Village Museum Director Jennifer Willis holds a chainsaw-carved sculpture created by Bottineau artist Mark Troska. The sculpture is one of many items available at a holiday raffle in the museum. Drawings for the items will be held Dec. 5, the same day as a takeout holiday barbecue dinner. Tickets for the dinner are available through Nov. 30.

Although the Prairie Village Museum has closed for the season, the museum’s office, gift shop and art gallery are open for browsing, fundraisers and safe, close-to-home Christmas shopping.

Director Jennifer Willis said foot traffic at Prairie Village Museum suffered in the 2020 season due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like other businesses in the area, the Prairie Village Museum’s been hit pretty hard this year,” Willis said. “Normally, we have 5,000 visitors in a year. This year, we were at about 1,000. Things have been pretty difficult. Like everyone else, we’ve been limping along.”

The museum often holds dinners and other fundraisers during the off-season, and Willis said those events would continue this year.

“Normally, we have an annual fundraiser at the end of the year. We have a holiday dinner,” she noted.

“This year, we decided to do a takeout dinner,” Willis said. “People can purchase their tickets ahead of time.”

Dinners will be reserved in advance through ticket purchases. Willis said people could purchase their tickets for the dinner from Nov. 16 to Nov. 30.

“People can purchase their tickets here, or even over the phone by credit card to avoid contact,” she added. We have (purchasing app) Event Brite on our Facebook page so people can click on the holiday dinner event at the top and go through there and pay that way.”

Tickets for the dinner are available for $10 each.

“Arnold’s Misfit Acres of Willow City is doing the catering,” Willis noted.

“They have pulled pork or barbecue chicken sandwiches, barbecue beans and coleslaw.”

“On December 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., people can come in to pick up their orders, or just drive up to the sidewalk and we’ll bring it out to them. We also have a silent raffle where you buy tickets and put them in bags next to items you want to win.”

“People can come in now through the fifth to buy tickets to bid on the items. Tickets are $1 each, or six for $5,” she added.

Willis named a long list of local sponsors who donated prizes for the raffle.

“We have a basket of the syrups we sell in the gift shop; Coffee Cottage brought in a box; Mark Troska from Bottineau donated a chain saw carving; his things are really popular around here. Magnolia Wellness Spa donated two gift bags with Himalyan salt and teas; Ashley with Main Street Boutique donated a couple of bottles of wine; Kate with Flawless Medical Spa and Hangovers Bottle Shop donated a couple of bottles of wine; Leevers donated a little battery-operated four by four car; Fritel’s Custom Design donated a two-foot carved metal welcome sign; Dairy Queen and Subway both donated gift certificates; Dakota Farms donated coffee mugs and a gift certificate. Cindy’s Country Cupboard donated a Christmas tree,” Willis said.

“There’s just so many businesses that donated,” she added.

“We also have a regular raffle where we’re giving away a Savage Arms 17 HMR rifle and a queen-sized quilt with a patriotic theme. We also have a John Deere Peg Perego XUV kid-size rider tractor,” Willis noted. “Those tickets are $10 each and the drawing goes through March. There are only 200 tickets printed, so there are pretty good odds for this drawing.”

Willis said the museum was holding fundraiser sales to support the museum and help with Christmas shopping.

“Another thing we have going on is Rada Cutlery sale,” Willis said. “You can buy these online at radacutlery.com, and you can choose Prairie Village Museum (to support them with a purchase).”

“They’ve been pretty good,” Willis said of the cutlery company. “The orders people have been placing have been shipped within two weeks. If you’re thinking of Christmas, you might think about getting an order in soon so you can receive it in time.”

Willis said the museum shop also sells unique gifts such as locally produced artwork, books on North Dakota and local subjects and syrups and preserves.

“Our jams and syrups are half price right now,” Willis said.

Prairie Village Museum also put a call out for local art – a boon to artists wishing to sell or shoppers looking for a unique holiday gift.

“People are welcome to bring their artwork in,” Willis said, walking into the gallery, which remains open to the public. The room also contains Victorian-era dresses and a glass case displaying brooches and early twentieth century hair combs.

Willis said artists could display their work in the gallery “for a $5 donation and then we get a 20 percent commission on anything that does sell. The gallery runs through the beginning of April, and admission is free. The museum is closed, but we’d like people to come through (the gallery and gift shop) and see us,” she added.

“We’re always seeking new members,” Willis added. “Our numbers for awhile had dropped considerably. In the past few months, we’ve been able to bring those numbers back up. Museum membership runs from January 1 through Dec. 31,” she added. “If you buy a membership now, you automatically get next year’s (membership). And it’s $25 for one person, $40 for a family or $100 for a sustaining member or business.”

The Prairie Village Museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To order tickets for the holiday dinner or ask about fundraisers or purchases, call 776-6414 or visit www.prairievillagemuseum.com or Prairie Village Museum on Facebook.

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