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Historic Deerfield seeks volunteers for Free Fun Friday event on Aug. 15

During hearth cooking demonstrations at Historic Deerfield, Cynthia Croteau of Greenfield demonstrates how a reflector oven would be set into the fireplace to roast a chicken during the 1800s. The ovens were very expensive and highly coveted, Croteau said. 
(Recorder file/Trish Crapo

During hearth cooking demonstrations at Historic Deerfield, Cynthia Croteau of Greenfield demonstrates how a reflector oven would be set into the fireplace to roast a chicken during the 1800s. The ovens were very expensive and highly coveted, Croteau said. (Recorder file/Trish Crapo Purchase photo reprints »

DEERFIELD — Historic Deerfield is looking for additional volunteers to help run its Free Fun Friday event on Aug. 15.

The event is being held in collaboration with the Highland Street Foundation, a Newton-based organization that works to enrich the lives of children and families in Massachusetts. It will offer entry to the museum free of charge, allowing visitors to experience all the museum has to offer and see various demonstrations of life in colonial times, including a “spinning bee” in which museum staff will create and interpret textiles.

“We’re expecting a lot more visitors than usual, so we need volunteers to ensure that everything runs smoothly,” said Julie Orvis, the organization’s special events coordinator. “There are people who follow this program around the state, and other museums have said they have seen a big increase in visitors.”

Orvis said volunteers will work to greet visitors, help them park their cars, paint faces, lead arts and crafts projects and provide information about becoming a member of the organization.

According to Orvis, the organization currently has 10 volunteers signed up to help out, most of whom are members of the Historic Deerfield Ambassadors Guild, which she said was recently formed by a group of regular volunteers.

“They’re people who have volunteered for a while, so we said ‘Let’s formalize this for people who want to do more to help Historic Deerfield,’” said Orvis, of the group. “They’re our ambassadors to the public.”

She said the museum still needs about 20 volunteers to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

In addition to Historic Deerfield, five other museums across the state will participate in the event that day: The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Plimoth Plantation, Framingham’s Garden in the Woods, the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, the Fitchburg Arts Museum, and the Reagle Music Theater in Waltham.

The program will run each Friday until Aug. 29, featuring five to seven different museums each week. According to the foundation, it provides grants to participating venues to help them cover the cost of opening for free. A full list of all the museums participating in the program can be found at www.highlandstreet.org.

Those interested in becoming volunteers can contact Historic Deerfield at 413-775-7214 or email Amanda Rivera Lopez at arlopez@historic-deerfield.org.

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