Check out a number of events as part First Saturdays in the First State, Aug. 2. Some programs highlight wedding customs, hobbies and collections and the art of rule breaking when trying to get writing published.

    First Saturdays in the First State will highlight wedding customs, hobbies and collections and the art of rule breaking when trying to get writing published during Saturday, Aug. 2, events at First State Heritage Park venues.

10:30 a.m.: Researching old homes at the Delaware Public Archives
    “This Old House” is a free presentation about discovering the history of old houses utilizing the Archives’ extensive records.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Unique collections and hobbies at Museum Square
    Hobbies and collecting will be the focus of First Saturday at the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Museum of Small Town Life.

    Guests at the Museum of Small Town Life will have an opportunity to explore Dr. E.D. Bryan’s collection of 19th to 20th century Delaware containers featured in the exhibit “Sealed in Glass, Stone, and Tin,” now on display in the museum. Bryan was a long-time Dover physician who began collecting antique Delaware bottles in the 1960s. He donated his collections of antique bottles, stoneware containers, cans, and medical and pharmaceutical furnishings to the state of Delaware in several stages during the 1980s.

    Visitors to the Johnson Victrola Museum will be able to explore the collection of phonograph equipment and recordings from the early days of the sound recording industry that was gathered between 1910 and 1996 by Dr. Melville Lynwood Heiges, a Washington D.C.-area physician. Heiges’ collection, which includes many rare Edison, Victor and Columbia phonograph machines, was acquired by the state of Delaware in 1998 and now is on display on the museum’s second floor.

Noon: Breaking the writing rules at the Biggs Museum of American Art
    Best-selling author Mary Kennedy examines the rules of the publishing world and imparts strategies to enable one to be successful while breaking those rules.

    Program fee is $15. Call 674-2111 to register.

12:30 p.m.: Wedding History 101
    Ever wonder where the phrase “tying the knot” comes from? How about where the practice of giving wedding rings originated? And why it is considered bad luck to get married during the weekend? Those interested can join historical educator Jane Peters Estes for “Wedding Customs and Traditions” to learn the secret history of wedding ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. in Legislative Hall.

    The free program will highlight the Victorian era and be accompanied by a display of wedding photographs from the 1860s to 1960s and other bridal memorabilia that Estes has collected over the years.

2 p.m.: Victorian Dover Walking Tour
    This special walking tour of Dover’s Victorian District revisits the city’s rich Victorian history, focusing on the men and women who would forever alter the course of Dover during this age of prosperity, expansion and transformation.

    The free tour departs from Rose Cottage, 102 S. State St.

2 p.m.: Biggs Kids
    The Biggs Museum of American Art welcomes kids 5 to 10 years old to join author Mary Kennedy for a program about writing and how to get ideas down on the page.
    The event is free, but pre-registration is required.

    Call 674-2111 to register.

    First State Heritage Park sites open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on this First Saturday include Legislative Hall, State House Museum, Delaware Public Archives, the Delaware Visitor Center and Galleries, the Biggs Museum of American Art, the Delaware Archaeology Museum, the Museum of Small Town Life and the Johnson Victrola Museum.

    Admission to all sites is free of charge.

    For more information, call 739-9194 or visit