Social event celebrates past

Interpretations, crafts and local actors made up the seventh annual Turn of the Century Social on April 28.

The event celebrates both history and literature through costumes and performances.

Claire Dunlap, senior from Paducah, Ky., was part of the promotions committee for the event.

“The Recreation 302 class, taught by Kelly Rogers, was in charge of the event along with the Interpretation class, which is taught by Mike Gowen,” Dunlap said. “We split up into committees who took charge of different things: promotions, operations, talent and acquisitions. Each week we would set goals for ourselves. We would go out into the community and access resources. We contacted businesses and asked for sponsors. Then at the end of the week we would come back to class and focus on the details.”

Students in the recreation and leisure services department interpreted three different historical sites: the Calloway County Courthouse, the one-room schoolhouse in the Murray-Calloway County Park and the Train Depot.

Students dressed in period costumes, from 1822 to the early 1900s.

“Along with the different historical interpretations, we also had things like a trapping interpretation and different things like kettle corn,” Dunlap said. “We had children’s games from that time period and volunteers from the community came out with different talent like corn husk doll making, and kids’ crafts.”

Dunlap said one of the most interesting parts for her was seeing the volunteers working at their craft.

“People who knew about the time period came out and were able to share their knowledge about things like soap making and pottery making,” Dunlap said. “It was interesting to see them work.”

Students from both the Interpretation of Natural Resources class and the Advanced Program Leadership class have been preparing for the social all semester.

“We had to acquire all the talent besides the interpreters of the main sites which was the Interpretation class,” said event manager Jim Adkins, senior from Hopkinsville, Ky. “We had to promote the event in the Purchase Area, through newsletters, newspaper, marquees, radio, flyers and word of mouth.

While preparation for the event lasted the entire semester, the two weeks before were the most stressful for students.

“The biggest challenge was the last two weeks before our event,” Adkins said. “Things we needed for the event that we thought we had were not available. Also there were just last-minute details that we did not think of before.”

Dunlap said attendance for the event was estimated to be between 100 and 200 people.

“The turnout was much better than we expected,” Dunlap said. “It exceeded all of our expectations. People who have been there for multiple years —some of the teachers and the talent —say this is the greatest turn out. Everything came together. We had been really stressed about it at the end, but everything came together great.”

Students who wish to help with next year’s Turn of the Century Social can contact Kelly Rogers at or Mike Gowen at