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Victorian Extravaganza Comes to Historical Society Saturday

This year's annual event features bee-keeping demos and more

The science of bee-keeping, the art of floral arranging and the necessity of soap-making are some of the skills on display this weekend at the Victorian Extravaganza at the Ocean County Historical Society.

The inaugural Victorian Extravaganza is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28.

Betsy Dudas, chairperson for the event, said there also will be a bee-keeping demonstration given all day by representatives of Uriah Creek Apiaries and the historical society will be conducting a plant sale featuring both house and outdoor plants.

Beekeeper Mike Long explained he will bring different sized beehives along with some specialized equipment to illustrate what's involved in getting honey from the bee. "Everyone knows you get honey from bees," he said, "but people aren't sure just how that happens. We use extracting equipment. It looks like a big washing tub."

“We’ll have nine local florists decorating each room in our Victorian-era Pierson-Sculthorp House with floral arrangements. In addition, we’ll have original pieces of art from TRACx81, a new local artist group,” Dudas said.

“Stella and Sandy Skolnick from Skip’s Florist will be speaking at 11 a.m. on arranging fresh flowers. At 1 p.m., folks from the Master Gardeners will be speaking on vegetable gardening in containers. At 2 p.m., Candace Lillie from the Ocean County Parks Department will give a presentation on recognizing the wild orchids of the Pinelands. At 3 p.m., Brianna Esposito from the Scum Soap Company will be speaking on soap making,” Dudas said.

Music will be provided by members of the Garden State Philharmonic and volunteers from the society will be dressed in authentic Victorian clothes giving tours through the society’s building.

Dudas said the society was hoping the Extravaganza would become an annual event. “It’s going to be a nice event to illustrate the cooperation between the local business community and the Historical Society and a great opportunity to showcase our unique Victorian-style building,” she explained.

“I’m especially grateful to the numerous local businesses that donated items to be included in a gift basket, valued at $500, which we’ll raffle off,” Dudas added.

Admission for the Victorian Extravaganza is $5 for adults; children under 12 will be admitted for free. The event will be held regardless of the weather.

The Ocean County Historical Society is located at 26 Hadley Avenue in Toms River. For more information call 732-341-1880 or visit www.oceancountyhistory.org.

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