Take a step back in time to Army fort of 1820s

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park will offer a living history weekend Saturday and Sunday at the fort, 201 S. Seventh St. in Fort Calhoun, Neb.

Volunteers will re-create the lives of those who lived around the fort with blacksmithing, cooking, crafts, spinning, weaving, butter making, baking, carpentry and more. Artillery will be fired at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. both days.

The fort’s grounds are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A valid Nebraska state park entry permit is required and can be purchased on-site at $5 for a day pass. The visitor center, which is not part of the living history weekend, has an admission fee of $2 per adult, $1 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for those younger than 3.

Pizza, pasta and more at Italian festival

La Festa Italiana, a celebration of all things Italian, will run Friday through Sunday at the National Guard Readiness Center, 116th Street and Rainwood Road.

Expect live entertainment, food, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, dancing and more from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday and noon to midnight Sunday. The Husker game will be broadcast on a big screen at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $5 in advance, $6.50 at the door. Children younger than 12 get in free when accompanying an adult. Advance tickets are available at Kohll’s Pharmacies & Homecare and at Rockbrook Camera. A full schedule and menu are available at omahaitaly.com; choose Events at the top of the page.

Try chores and play old-fashioned way

Add Homestead National Monument of America to your Labor Day weekend plans. From Saturday through Monday, the monument near Beatrice, Neb., will offer a variety of living history activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Learn about life as a pioneer by making butter, a pioneer toy, a cornhusk doll and a candle. Play pioneer games. Wash clothes the old-fashioned way, watch as a loom creates works of art and see a printmaker in action.

Learn about Nebraska’s grape and wine industry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Paul Read from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, watch basket weaver Patty Minge demonstrate her craft. Rounding out the weekend will be Charuth Van Beuzekom, who will turn milk into ricotta cheese from 10 a.m. to noon Monday.

Also Monday, test your spelling prowess at the 2 p.m. fourth annual Old-Fashioned Spelling Bee at the Freeman School.

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