BY KELLIE HICKS
FOR GONZALES TRIBUNE
SOUTH COUNTY — Last Saturday the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, better known as MCARLM, in King City held its 10th Annual Holiday Open House, opening its doors for the public to explore the museum and the many exhibits while enjoying homemade soups and eating holiday cookies and treats.
This year, unlike last year, the Dec. 9 open house was back inside the museum.
Museum Manager Sharon Turner explained that the event was held in a different building in 2016 because the museum itself had been hit by one of the many trees at San Lorenzo County Park. The museum was closed for several months while it was repaired.
The Holiday Open House brought back the tradition of serving hot soup to the visitors again this year, a tradition that started with the first open house.
“For MCARLM, it seems that we are always going out to the community — donate to us, give to us, sell tickets,” Turner said, “and 10 years ago we thought ‘How can we give back (to the community) without it costing us a bundle of money?’”
“So we decided that we can have board members and staff each bring a pot of soup and offer that up. It became this great social function,” she added.
With Christmas music in the background, visitors were introduced to a vast array of different soups. From split pea to chicken potpie to Tuscan tomato artichoke, there was something to please everyone.
Along with the museum tours and hay rides, members also collected can foods for the local Loaves and Fishes program and collected toys for the Salvation Army’s Operation Give Back Toy Drive.
MACARLM’s mission states that it “celebrates the past, present and future of Salinas Valley agriculture and rural life by interpreting authentic objects, providing exceptional programs and building community connections.” It is located within San Lorenzo County Park in King City. For information about becoming a friend of MCARLM, visit the website www.mcarlm.org.