Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood celebrates 40th annual Victori - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood celebrates 40th annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas

(Several events take place December 10 and 11 in downtown Hattiesburg and the Historic Neighborhood.  Visit www.DowntownHattiesburg.com for more details.  Further information in this press release submitted to WDAM7.)


 HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood will celebrate the  40th Anniversary of the  "Victorian Candlelit Christmas", on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 and Sunday, Dec. 11th ,2016. This year the Hattiesburg Downtown Association will salute this  milestone by presenting "Downtown Christmas by Candlelight" on Saturday, December 10th from 5-9pm throughout downtown. 
 
The Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas is a longtime, 2-day holiday favorite event that draws hundreds of visitors from across the region, to explore the spectacle of 15,000 white bags with flickering candles, lining the sidewalks of the Historic Neighborhood and the Downtown District. Experience the nostalgia of a simpler time as you walk along streets lined with luminaries and more than 300 homes and businesses decorated for the holidays with garlands, bows and twinkling lights.  In the neighborhood, visitors can enjoy the popular horse-drawn carriage rides, the holiday tour of historic homes, refreshments at the Walthall, and carolers throughout the district.   Additionally, throughout downtown visitors will enjoy shopping, eating and browsing through unique shops, galleries and holiday "pop-up" arts markets all with extended hours for this event.  

The center of activities in the Historic Neighborhood will be The Walthall Center at the Walthall Condominiums, one block west of Bay Street on Rebecca Avenue, between Court and Walnut streets. The carriage rides and parking shuttle will leave from this location.  All entertainment, refreshments, and tickets for both the carriage rides and Tour of Homes will be available at Walthall Center from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. each night. Tickets for the carriage rides will be $8 for Adults, $5 for children under 12 and will be sold only at the Walthall both days. Tickets for the Tour of Homes will be $10 and they will be available for sale at the Walthall on Saturday from 5-9 pm and Sunday from 5-7p.m.

New this year will be daytime activities, starting at noon, that include $10 Photos with Santa, a wagon and one of the Honey Island Clydesdales (noon - 3pm) then Santa without wagon (5-7pm); pony rides for the kids; a miniature horse, and a Holiday Market. These activities will take place in the Walthall Park starting at noon until 9pm. 

"I am excited that the City is participating again this year by lining the street of Downtown with luminaries," said Andrea Saffle, Executive Director of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association. "Downtown Christmas by Candlelight" is building on what was the Holiday Art Walk and tying it more into an old-fashioned Downtown Christmas excursion." I am so grateful to the City for taking on this project for the Downtown, without the help of the Public Works and the Parks & Rec. Departments, there is  no way we could pull this off, said Saffle." 

In addition to the luminaries there will be lots for visitors to do in Downtown.  "Many of the businesses are extending their hours for this event," said Saffle.   "The Saenger Theater will host "A Rockin' Christmas" event for Extra Table; there will be art exhibits at various galleries throughout downtown and at the Cultural Center; several businesses are hosting holiday openhouses; Sacred Heart School will be caroling on the steps of the Church,  there will be caroling and of course lots of great places to grab a bit or listen to some live music.  

Other activities include:

Saturday :
\ Saenger Theater- "A Rockin Christmas" benefitting Extra Table, 7:30pm
\ Thirsty Hippo Holiday Arts and Crafts Market- 11am - 6pm
\ OddFellows Gallery- Holiday Arts Market 11am - 7 pm
\ SMAA Holiday Art Show, Cultural Center, 10 am - 8:30 
\ Porter Pub Holiday Shindig, 2 - 6pm
\ Photos with Santa & a Clydesdale, Walthall Park, noon - 3pm
\ Pony Rides, Walthall Park, noon until 7pm
\ Holiday Market, Walthall Park, noon -9pm
\ 18,000 luminaries will light the sidewalks throughout the Historic Neighborhood and Downtown.
\ Carriage rides leaving from the Walthall starting at 5pm- 9pm, and circling thru the neighborhood. (carriage rides takes about 15-20 minutes)
\ Refreshments will be for sale in the Walthall- Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Chili, baked goods, beer & wine.
\ FREE Grove Transit Shuttle between parking lots, Walthall, Open Houses and Downtown.
\ Sacred Heart School Choir, Caroling on the steps of Church
\ Court Street United Methodist Church, 609 Southern Ave. presents the Victorian Christmas Café on Saturday, December 10th from 5 p.m.- 7 p.m.; featuring caroling by the chancel choir and children's choir, nativity scene by our youth and children, and Santa Claus pictures. They will also offer homemade chili and red beans and rice in the Candlelight Café. Tickets are $5.00 for singles and $20.00 for family of 5. Contact courtstreetumc@bellsouth.net or call 601.583.1711 for ticket information.
\ Bay Street Presbyterian Church, 202 Short Bay St., the oldest surviving church structure in the city will host an "Old Fashioned Carol Sing" with the pipe organ on Saturday at 6 p.m. and on Sunday at 6 p.m. carol singing on the front porch.
\ Holiday Tour of Homes will feature four historic homes, including the Mayor's House! The Tour of Homes will run Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm until 8:30pm. Tickets are $10-(good for both days), available at the Walthall and at each of the houses.

Sunday: 
\ Photos with Santa & a Clydesdale, 12noon - 3pm
\ Pony Rides, Walthall Park noon until 7pm
\ Holiday Market, Walthall Park, noon -9pm
\ 15,000 luminaries will light the sidewalks throughout the historic neighborhood.
\ Carriage rides leaving from the Walthall starting at 5pm- 9pm, and circling thru the neighborhood. (carriage rides takes about 15-20 minutes)
\ Refreshments will be for sale in the Walthall- Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Chili, baked goods
\ FREE Grove Transit Shuttle between parking lots, Walthall, Open Houses
\ Holiday Tour of Homes will feature four historic homes, including the Mayor's House! The Tour of Homes will run Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm until 8:30pm. Tickets available at the Walthall.

Candlelighting started in Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood District in 1976 as a way to celebrate the nation's bicentennial as well as to draw attention to the renovation going on in the district, characterized by homes built between 1884 and 1930. The neighborhood has changed from a declining section populated mostly by older residents to a lively, attractive neighborhood that is home to a vibrant mix of families with young children to retirees and everything in between.

Candlelighting has grown from a one-day display of a few thousand candles to a two-day event with about 15,000 luminaries and other activities. Each year as dusk falls and the candles are lit, hundreds of local and out-of-town visitors flow into the neighborhood, strolling or driving along the streets lined with the glowing candles. Neighborhood residents and visitors walk from house to house, stopping to chat and admire decorations. Many house parties are held to celebrate the season in the glow of thousands of candles.
 

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