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November Happenings at the History Center

Published on Nov 2, 2022

Bartow, Fla (November 2, 2022) -- Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:

  • Nov. 5 at 11 a.m., Oak Hill Cemetery Tour – (Dependent upon Cemetery Clean-up Effort Due to Hurricane Ian Debris)
    • Join our Curator of Education on a walking tour of the historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Bartow. Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2003, the cemetery is awash with the memory of Polk pioneers beneath a canopy of live oak trees. The tour starts at the History Center with a short walk of approximately one mile, and it includes historic landmarks along the route to the cemetery. The cemetery ground is uneven, and visitors are advised to wear appropriate footwear. The cemetery tour is offered at 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month, November through April. Please contact the History Center at (863) 534-4386 to confirm the status of the Nov. 5 tour.
  • Nov. 12, Opening of the Festival of Wreaths
    • Herald the arrival of the holiday season at the History Center with the 12th Annual Festival of Wreaths and silent auction. The festival opening will coincide with Bartow’s 31st annual Honeybee Festival and Craft Fair, and it will feature  the return of a cappella carol performances from the Frostproof Middle/High School Chorus from the 2nd floor Rotunda at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The wreaths will be on display from Nov. 12 until Dec. 13, when high bidders will begin picking up the wreaths to decorate their Polk County homes.  The silent auction begins at 8 a.m. on Nov. 12 at
  • Nov. 15, 12 p.m., Holiday Lunch and Learn – Songs of Christmas Past, presented by J. Lenora Bresler
    • What can a song tell us about the period in time from which it comes? You’ll be humming your favorite Christmas songs as you explore the evolution of Christmas traditions and the creation of popular tunes. Presented by J. Lenora Bresler, Daughters of the American Revolution, Museum Corresponding Docent, this unique and festive program looks at the themes reflected in our most treasured holiday songs of yore.
    • This is an in-person and virtual program, and reservations are not required. Arrive early to get a great seat and do not forget to bring a lunch! If you plan to join us virtually, please email for the Zoom link. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the History Center at 863-534-4386.
  • Nov. 18, Selfies with Santa
    • Santa Claus and his elves will be in the study at the History Center for “Selfies with Santa” between 4 and 5:30 p.m. in advance of Bartow’s Magic on Main Street celebration. Reservations are required. Contact the museum to reserve your space. Call 863-534-4386 or email   
  • Nov. 19, 11 a.m., Architectural Tour
    • Join us for an architectural tour of the History Center and discover the neoclassical architectural elements that define this iconic Polk County landmark. This month, we will focus on the seasonal additions to the History Center, which were generously provided during the Annual Festival of Wreaths. The architectural tour occurs on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.
  • November 26, Selfies with Santa
    • Santa Claus and his elves will be in his study at the History Center for “Selfies with Santa” between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Reservations are required. Contact the museum to reserve your space. Call 863-534-4386or email   

The History Center will be closed for the holidays on the following dates:

    • Veteran’s Day – Nov. 11
    • Thanksgiving – Nov. 24  and 25
    • Christmas – Dec. 23 and 24

The Polk County History Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow. Visit or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All programs and events are free and open to the public.