What Cheer Day Returns With Focus on 18th-Century Fashion, Scandal


Beloved living history event offers afternoon of costumes, conversation, activities, and food

When: October 22, 2016, 1-6pm (Last admission at 5:30pm)
Where: John Brown House Museum (52 Power St., Providence, RI)
Admission: $15; $12 for members; children under 12, free (tickets available on site the day of the event)

The Rhode Island Historical Society’s annual celebration of living history returns on Saturday, October 22, 1-6pm, to the John Brown House Museum (52 Power St.). Always a fun-filled afternoon of talks, activities, and period refreshments, this year’s edition is more ambitious than ever, adorned as it is with authentic fashions of the day and fraught with a crisis that finds the iconic mansion atop what is now known as College Hill shaken with scandal.

What Cheer Day attendees will call upon the Brown Family and enter the year 1799 with the help of costumed interpreters. The drama begins when Alice Brown straggles home late from a party, troubled by symptoms including nausea and fatigue. Fortunately, Dr. William Bowen is on hand to provide a diagnosis. Distressed by the news, Mrs. Brown and her sister require the ministrations of Mrs. Brown’s longtime lady’s maid. Things only get more intriguing from there.

This beloved public history event will allow visitors to sample 18th-century-style cakes and lemonade, chat with interpreters and staff to find out the latest (and oldest!) town gossip, and make their own paper dolls to take home. In addition, there will be hands-on cloth samples and two dressed mannequins in garments that may be touched … carefully, of course.

Admission is $15, with a discounted rate of $12 for members. Children under 12 are free. Tickets will be available at the John Brown House Museum the day of the event. For more information, call (401) 331-8575 x136 or email programs@rihs.org.


Thank you to the sponsors who help make What Cheer Day possible!



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