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A flash back to the 50s
Local history center pulls old-fashioned family fun into the new century
Ken Wallace, left, and Ken Grindle chat about classic cars Sunday afternoon at the Northeast Georgia History Center as each brought out their cars to show at the center’s “Nifty Fifties” Family Sunday.

If you drove by the Northeast Georgia History Center on Sunday afternoon, you may have thought you were stuck in a time warp.

Sunday afternoon, the history center in Gainesville took families back to the 1950s for “Nifty Fifties” — the theme for June’s Family Sunday events.

Families enjoyed several things popular in the 1950s — hula hoops, Silly Putty, sock hops and homemade ice cream. But Sunday was more than just a time to have fun; children and their families also learned the history and importance of each ’50s icon. A car show in the parking lot also featured vehicles from the era.

Like all Family Sunday events, Nifty Fifties was open to everyone. Families only had to pay $5 while history center members got in for free.

“We want people to realize that the history center is here,” Julie Carson, the history center’s administrative coordinator, said about Family Sundays. “This seemed like a fun idea to touch on.”

Many volunteers came out to the history center to help with the Family Sunday.

“We are so blessed with wonderful volunteers,” said Carson. “We have several active and retired teachers who did this because of their love of history.”

Julie Wingate, a history center member, brought her daughter Ellie, 4, to Nifty Fifties.

“We come every month,” said Wingate. “We enjoy the crafts and there’s always a lot of educational activities for her to enjoy.”

Ellie’s favorite activity was the hula hoop, but she also enjoys the crafts featured at each Family Sunday. Wingate said she enjoys bringing Ellie “to learn about other times. She loves the crafts.”

The history center has Family Sundays on the second Sunday of every month. Next month’s theme is “Liberty in Georgia” with some re-enactments of historical figures from the time. Set for July 12, participants will be able to sign a replica of the Declaration of Independence using quills and homemade ink and there also will be patriotic crafts.

“I enjoy seeing all the people come in and the looks on their faces, especially the children,” said Carson. “The volunteers are just wonderful. We always have a good time putting this on.”