The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has added a fun, new element to its annual Antique Treasures Show (formerly Antique Treasures Day).

This year’s is event is on Sunday, Jan. 29 from noon to 4 p.m.

An independent appraiser, Joe Soebbing of Rio Grande Estate Sales, will be on hand to discuss the value of objects or heirlooms that visitors bring from home. Soebbing is a certified appraiser with 35 years experience. This new aspect of the event gives it a feel similar to PBS television’s Antique Road Show. The appraisals are done independently from the Museum.

Appraisals are free with paid admission to the show — $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for children 4 to 17. Annual passes are not accepted for this event.

Preservation, a core responsibility of any museum, is the focus of the event. The afternoon’s tours provide an inside look at the Museum’s collection and preservation programs.

The event is the only day each year that visitors may see inside the Museum’s Collections Storage Room, where 10,000 artifacts are kept in a climate-controlled environment. Only a third of the Museum’s objects are on display at a time, with the other two-thirds stored here. Some of the items featured include pottery, baskets, an Apache cradleboard, sculptures, saddles, farm implements, and churns.

Guided tours of the room begin every 15 minutes and visitors must sign up to take the tour. Up to 10 people are allowed on each tour.

Visitors also are invited to play “Stump the Chump,” by bringing in an item from home that the Museum curators will try to identify. Anyone may also bring in heirlooms to learn how best to preserve them.

Living history characters in the galleries and weaving demonstrations also are part of the event.

The Museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. For more information, pleaee call (575) 522-4100.

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