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'And all that Jazz' | McFaddin-Ward House Museum announces Fall 2023 free events lineup

From Jazz music to dinosaur fossils, the lineup is sure to have something for everyone!
Credit: McFaddin-Ward House

BEAUMONT, Texas — The McFaddin-Ward House has announced its Fall 2023 public programming lineup.

The lineup includes the return of the museum’s popular Lecture Series, as well as Music at the McFaddins’ outdoor live music events, and its annual Holiday Open House located at 1906 Calder Ave. in Beaumont. 

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, food and drinks as they gather on the grounds of the historic house to enjoy a great evening of live Jazz with Jimmy Simmons & Friends September 28, 2023 on the museum lawn. 

On October 5, the McFaddin-Ward House Lecture Series presents, “Texas Fossil Finds: Following the Journey from Dig to the Museum,” at 6:30 p.m. 

Professional Paleontologist Andre LuJan will present Texas fossil discoveries, detailing technology, innovation and commerce related to the field of paleontology and sharing his expertise in the preparation work and display of museum fossil installations. 

A Dallas native, LuJan is the founder and CEO of PaleoTex, a commercial paleontology company that provides professional services and research specimens to institutions, vocational paleontologists, and independent researchers around the world. 

On October 20, the McFaddin-Ward House Lecture Series & the Lamar University Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas presents, “Swamp Pop: History and Sounds of a Gumbo-Combo of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Country, and Cajun Music” by Rachel Stiles along with Music at the McFaddins’ featuring Jivin’ Gene at 6:30 p.m.  on the museum lawn.

The McFaddin-Ward House and the Lamar University Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast will host a unique outdoor event exploring the history and narrative of Swamp Pop music, featuring a presentation by Rachel Stiles and a live performance by original Swamp Pop musicians including Jivin’ Gene.

A 2022-23 Fellow at Lamar University’s Center for History and Culture, Stiles has focused her research on the 20th century phenomenon of Swamp Pop—a regional rock and roll variant unique to Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. As a teenager, Port Arthur native Gene Bourgeois – aka Jivin’ Gene – helped to invent the new genre music cooked up from a virtual gumbo of influences: country music, rhythm and blues, Cajun ballads, and rock ‘n’ roll. Fast-forward to Antone’s Club in Austin earlier this year, and the 83-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist was once again sharing his unique sound to a packed house.

On November 2, the McFaddin-Ward House Lecture Series presents, “Entertaining at the White House with Time Honored Holiday Traditions” by Jennifer Pickens at 6:30 p.m. located at the visitor center. 

White House historian Jennifer Boswell Pickens will give a glimpse into the elegant entertaining and magical Christmas traditions of the White House.

Through her research, Pickens has conducted numerous interviews with members of America’s first families, White House social secretaries, chiefs of staff, presidential aides, White House insiders, and Executive Residence staff. She will present highlights from her most recent book, Entertaining at the White House: Decades of Presidential Traditions, which richly documents 60 years of holiday entertaining at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

On November 12, the McFaddin-Ward House will host it's annual photo shoot in front of the historic home. Photo reservation appointments will be available from noon to 3 p.m. Call 409-832-2134 to make a reservation. A limited number of appointments are available so make your reservations early. A photographer will take three photos of you and your loved ones. Your photos will be emailed to you the following week. In the event of inclement weather, the holiday photo shoot will be cancelled. 

On Sunday, December 3 and Sunday, December 10,  the McFaddin-Ward Holiday Open Houses opens from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The tour begins at the Visitor Center. 

Guests will begin at the visitor center with festive refreshments, music, and children’s crafts. 

Next, is a walk-through tour of the magnificent holiday decorations and interpretation “Glitz Up the Tree: A Glamorous Holiday with the McFaddins” throughout the first floor of the historic house. Carolers, live music, and a visit from that special someone from the North Pole, under the twinkle of holiday lights. 

All McFaddin-Ward House events are free and open to the public. For lectures and lawn events, doors and gates open at 6 p.m. Seating for lectures is limited.

Built in 1905-1906 in the distinctive Beaux-Arts Colonial style, the McFaddin-Ward House reflects the lifestyle of the prominent family which lived in the house for 75 years. The museum features free tours, educational programming, year-round events, a carriage house, and gardens.

For more information, call 409-832-2134 or visit mcfaddin-ward.org.

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