FRANCONIA — Some things were dropped during the coronavirus-related shutdown, but others are being changed and/or rescheduled after the Mennonite Heritage Center reopened the beginning of July.

“We are glad we're open and we're just trying to, as everyone else is, go week by week and hopefully can get back to our more regular program schedule,” said Sarah Wolfgang Heffner, acting executive director.

The open hours haven't changed — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, she said.

“We are asking that our guests wear masks and social distance when they're in the museum,” she said.

Originally scheduled for the end of May, the Whack & Roll croquet tournament in which two-person teams compete for $10,000 of prize money for non-profit organizations, is still on, but will now be happening Saturday, Aug. 29. The Survivor croquet tournament, with six-member youth teams vying for prize money to help fund their service/mission trips, will be Aug. 28. Both are outdoors in the yard of the center on Yoder Road.

“We are adjusting some of the aspects of the event. We're not having our buffet lunch in a big tent, but handing out boxed lunches,” Heffner said, “so people can sit six feet apart, outdoors, under a tree.”

The players will also keep the same mallet throughout the day and wear a mask if they cannot be six feet away from others, she said.

“We're just trying to make sure that we have a fun event, but a safe event, and follow the state guidelines,” Heffner said.

Another rescheduled event is a Paper Marbling Workshop, initially slated for June, but which will now be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15.

“Led by Ramon Townsend of Colonial Bindery, Exton, participants will learn this traditional paper art first developed by the Persians in the 15th century. Marbling is the art of floating and designing watercolors on a base fluid then permanently transferring the design to paper,” information about the workshop says.

The workshops held at Mennonite Heritage Center usually have a dozen or less participants, not a large group, Heffner said.

Another upcoming event, the Moyer Family History Tour, remains on its original Saturday, Sept. 12 date.

Instead of doing it as a bus trip with 40 persons, however, it is being changed to a self-driving tour for two groups of 20, Heffner said.

“The tour will be visiting local cemeteries and meeting houses, so a lot of it is outdoors,” she said.

Mennonite Heritage Center historians Joel Alderfer and Forrest Moyer will give on-site historical presentations at the six stops on the tour, information says.

Information about and registration for all the events is available at

During the time it was closed, the center added to its online programs, Heffner said.

Its blog on its website continues, she said. In addition, the Mennonite Heritage Center, Goschenhoppen Historians and Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center are doing a joint project blog called the Pennsylvania Dutch At-Home Companion, she said.

“That's some fun relief from our current news stories,” Heffner said. “It features old time recipes, stories about making scrapple or cooking mush, making summer pies, just some fun posts about Pennsylvania Dutch traditions.”

“In this unprecedented time of staying at home, we hope you'll be inspired to bring pieces of the past to your present through Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, gardening, and crafts,” the site at says.

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