The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 2, 2014

Winter events kick off in Fulton

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — FULTON, Ill. — Winter is wild at the Windmill Cultural Center in Fulton, and it is kicking off the new year this Wednesday.

For three years, the education committee at the Windmill Cultural Center has hosted the Wild Winter Wednesdays program which offers educational activities for adults of all ages.

“The goal is to offer things, so that people can learn something new. That is our hope; that there’s many things to offer in our little corner of the world,” education committee member Betty Wiebenga said. “It’s just a nice, laid-back, winter morning activity.”

The middle of the week event is always free, and features a wide variety of lessons, workshops and guest presentations throughout the winter months.

Included in the 2014 itinerary is a presentation from local residents Ron and Connie Koehn about their globetrotting travels, a workshop on quilting patterns from the era of the Underground Railroad and even a special guest appearance from KWQC television personality Paula Sands.

“Some years we have a theme, and others it’s just kind of whatever and so far, the 2014 program is pretty varied,” Wiebenga said.

The goal of the education committee is to offer a variety of interest-based programs at the Windmill Cultural Center so they can reach a new audience and generate more curiosity from local residents.

“We steal ideas from any source that we can come up with. The education committee’s eyes are always tuned in to what we see,” Wiebenga said. “The amazing thing though is it’s never the same group of people. We have many people that return, but we have not had one program yet that we didn’t have someone new at the Windmill Cultural Center.”

Although the education committee aims to please the interests of everyone who attends the program, the real meaning behind the Wild Winter Wednesdays is to generate more attention to the Windmill Cultural Center.

During the year, volunteers at the cultural center host a variety of different events to draw attention to de Immigrant Windmill, but during the winter months, some of that luster is lost in the cold and snowy season.

“It’s so that people know that we’re there all year long,” Wiebenga said. “We have this beautiful space and, yeah it’s too cold to tour the windmill, but we still want to utilize all there is to offer at the cultural center.”

And it’s because of that highly-sought, tourist attraction that the education committee is able to host the wide range of programs that they do.

“In reality all of these people that have come and presented, many have never seen the cultural center or the windmill,” Wiebenga said. “And they are amazed when they get here.”

Each Wild Winter Wednesday event begins at 9 a.m. at the Windmill Cultural Center and will run from now until March.