Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to host French Christmas Concert, stargazing

An owl mural outside the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Welcome Center, which will host a French Christmas Concert.

Get in the mood for the holiday season at a French Christmas Concert at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center next weekend.

The folk trio Trois Canards — Marti Pizzni, Suzanne Keldsen, and Dot Pakin — will sing Christmas songs in both French and English with the accompaniment of traditional instruments like the hurdy gurdy, dulcimer, fiddle, accordion, guitar and recorder at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

They will perform a free concert from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Visitor Center at 1215 North State Road 49, about a mile north of Interstate 94 in Chesterton.

"These songs may well have been enjoyed during the holidays by Joseph Bailly, considered the first permanent European settler in the area, whose home is now preserved within the national lakeshore," the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore said in a press release.

"So gather up in the visitor center's theater for this one-hour concert and enjoy some good holiday music and learn a little about our local history."

That weekend, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore also will be hosting a stargazing event with several local astronomical societies from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

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Anyone interested is encouraged to park at the parking lot for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Kemil Beach, where they will be able to gaze on the twinkling stars scattered across the slate canvass of the heavens through borrowed telescopes. It's located on East State Park Road, about 1 mile north of U.S. Highway 12 and 3 miles east of State Road 49.

"While telescopes will be available, feel free to bring binoculars or your own telescope from home. Learn about the celestial objects of the season and the benefits of natural night darkness and dark sky-friendly lighting," the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore said in the press release.

"This month, the Milky Way crosses the night sky overhead from east to west. Expect to see the Pleiades star cluster, the Double Cluster in Perseus, and the Andromeda Galaxy. Saturn and Mars are up. Neptune is one degree from Mars."

It's a recurring program that will be offered after sunset on the fourth Saturday of every month throughout the year.

For more information, 219.395.1882, www.nps.gov/indu or find the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IndianaDunesNL.


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.