For Immediate Release
Contact: Gail Towns - 732.987.2266 Tara Strickland - 732.987.2291 Bookmark and Share 


Victorian Christmas Comes to Georgian Court

Lakewood, N.J., Nov. 4, 2010—Ever wondered what your great-grandmother’s tea set might be worth or whether you should hold on to that Joe DiMaggio jersey that’s been collecting dust for more than 50 years?

History buffs and fans of all things sentimental can get their questions answered at Georgian Court University’s Antiques and Collectibles Appraisal event, one of several activities planned for GCU’s Third Annual Victorian Christmas Festival and Gift Boutique.

The appraisal session is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, in the Casino Auditorium on GCU’s historic Lakewood campus, and is new to the university’s lineup of Victorian Christmas events. For $5 per item (limit five items per person), certified appraisers—all volunteers from a local nonprofit group—will weigh in on heirlooms that have the potential to bring in cash and things that are limited to sentimental value.

“We had a successful antique fair here a few years back, and we’ve found that people can’t get enough of things like Antiques Roadshow or Cash in the Attic,” says Laura Lella-Smith, associate director of conferences and special events at GCU. “Our appraisal event gives antique lovers an opportunity to figure out if they should increase their insurance on certain items or head directly for the trash.”

GCU’s Victorian Christmas celebration, which runs Friday, December 3, through Sunday, December 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., is free and open to the public. Upward of 1,500 guests attended last year’s event, and Ms. Lella-Smith expects a similar crowd this year as people search for unique and affordable gifts. Dozens of small business owners and crafters from Monmouth and Ocean counties will be among the vendors selling art, jewelry, apparel, and other items.

Victorian Christmas also includes free activity stations for kids and performances by groups like the Monsignor Donovan Big Blue Singing Crew Show Choir, Lacey Township Performing High School Choir, the Strand Theater Ensemble, Not Your Ordinary Dancers, and many others. Also, an interactive railroad train exhibit presented by the Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders is expected to draw train fans of all ages.

The free schedule of events also includes a look at Colonial and Victorian Christmas customs. Beginning at 12:00 noon on Friday, December 3, food and tea historian Judith Krall-Russo will explore the origins of customs like caroling, making gingerbread, and the use of holly and mistletoe in Christmas decorations. She’ll also discuss the differences between colonial and Victorian holiday traditions.

This year, Victorian Christmas also includes Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the North Dining Room. The cost is $11 per child for kids ages 2 to 11 and $15 per person for those 12 and older. Youngsters under 2 are admitted free. During the buffet breakfast, kids can spend time with Santa and enjoy special holiday activities. Photos with Santa can be arranged for a nominal fee.

Visitors to Victorian Christmas events are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to benefit Ocean County Hunger Relief, which feeds about 2,000 area residents each month through its work with 35 community pantries in Ocean County.

The Victorian Christmas vendor fair, train exhibit, and musical performances are free. To order tickets for Breakfast with Santa, contact the GCU Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263 or

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves nearly 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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