Provo Pioneer Village Christmas event connects patrons, volunteers to Utah heritage

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The Provo Pioneer Village hosted its annual Pioneer Christmas event Dec. 9, 10 and 12.

This event was free to the public. Attendees of all ages walked through the village which showcased original structures built by pioneers in 1849. These cabins, which feature historical artifacts, were decorated with traditional Christmas trees and garlands. 

The Provo Pioneer Village is sponsored by Sons of Utah Pioneers and run by volunteers. 

John Clark is a volunteer and member of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. “We’ve had a lot of faithful volunteers,” Clark said. “We love it and we hope that people come here and appreciate this place.”

Patrons could visit the cabins and mercantile store, watch a blacksmith work, and listen to Christmas carolers. Cookies and hot cocoa were provided as well. Volunteers dressed in traditional pioneer outfits and explained historical facts about the time period. 

In one pioneer home, volunteer and storyteller Aimee Alsop wore a pioneer dress, bonnet and cloak. Children stood around her, listening to her tell a story about the donkey that carried Mary and Jesus. 

“There is something about live storytelling,” Alsop said. “Art touches the soul and it’s different than any movie, any play — it’s ancient … I think it’s so powerful.” Alsop took the storytelling class at BYU and is now part of the Utah Storytelling Guild. 

Kathy Worthen is the volunteer coordinator and said she has seen how this event has impacted people. Worthen explained how one dad that came was especially excited to show his children how their ancestors lived.  

For Worthen, the Christmas village is one of the highlights of her holiday season and helps her to focus on what is important about Christmas. 

“The most magical part of it, I think, is that it makes you step back in time and slows everything down. It’s just a totally different feeling,” Worthen said.

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