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Parents, kids go back to the '80s at history center

Family Day geared toward educating community

POSTED: August 18, 2013 11:23 p.m.

Parents reminisced on what their children discovered about the 1980s on Sunday at the Northeast Georgia History Center on Academy Street in Gainesville.

This month’s Family Day focused on everything ’80s. The free event was sponsored by North Georgia Eye Clinic and Laser Center and featured a variety of memorabilia.

Many parents and children crowded around the ’80s arcade game console to play Donkey Kong. Others observed old comic books and listened to cassette tapes and eight-tracks on a boom box.

The history center aims to educate the community through hosting a fun day the whole family can enjoy, said Julie Carson, Education and Volunteer coordinator.

“We came up with the program idea to have a place for families to come and do something together as a family,” Carson said.

“We would like them to know that we’re here and we’re available with anything from the ’80s back to the history of the Cherokee.”

She said the ’80s theme seemed like a new, exciting way to unite kids and parents and get them involved with costume contests and crafts.

“About once a year we do a decade (theme), and we hadn’t done the ’80s before,” she said. “So we thought that would be a very fun one to do.”

Although many eras seem more foreign to the younger participants, the ’80s are just vintage enough to interest children as much as the adults, she said.

“It’s not ancient history, but it definitely is a very interesting era,” she said.

DeDe Forrester, a parent participating at the history center with her children, hoped to get some educational material for her young daughter, who is home-schooled.

“We’re using it as her history lesson today,” Forrester said.

She also said she has been coming to the event with her family for a few years to see what the new theme will be.

“We just thought it would be interesting and we’ve been coming ever since,” she said. “I like it. It’s fun, especially because I was in high school during the ’80s.”

Another parent attending the event has family ties to a person mentioned in the history center’s memorial.

Evelyn Harper’s father-in-law is honored at the center.

Since the beginning of Family Day, she has participated with her children every year, she said.

“I think they really reach out to the families really well,” she said. Harper receives the center’s newsletter to find out about upcoming events.

She said even though her children enjoy the excitement of one particular exhibit, she appreciates every aspect the center has to offer.

“Well, my children love the tornado (exhibit),” she said. “But I like all of it. I like seeing the local history, especially about Gainesville. It means more to me now as an adult than it used to when I was a kid.”

This September will mark the fifth anniversary of Family Day. The history center’s anniversary event, themed after the pioneer era in Northeast Georgia, will be held Sept. 8 from 1-4 p.m.


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