Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas

The 39th Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas Expands to Downtown as part of the Downtown Candlelit Christmas

 HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Take a step back in time during the 39th Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas, presented by the Hattiesburg Historic Neighborhood Association and the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association, Saturday, Dec. 12th and Sunday, Dec. 13th  ,2015.  Experience a simpler time as you travel along streets lined with more than 18,000 luminaries and more than 400 homes and businesses decorate their porches and store fronts with garlands of greenery trimmed with bright bows and twinkling lights.

The Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas is a longtime holiday favorite event that draws hundreds of visitors from throughout the region, featuring the popular horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday tour of historic homes and strolling carolers throughout the district.

In addition, 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 $5 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 5-9pm and Sunday from 5-7p.m.

“This year’s Holiday Tour of Homes will feature “The Bay”, a new Bed and Breakfast on Short Bay, The McMillen Home on Bay Street, Atwood Home on Walnut Street. The Tour of Homes will run Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm until 8:30pm.

“I am excited that this year, on Saturday, the City and the Mayor’s Youth Council are getting involved by helping to line the street of Downtown with luminaries,” said Andrea Saffle, Executive Director of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association.    “In years past, as part of the Holiday Art Walk, merchants along Front and Main Streets have put out luminaries on that Saturday, but this year the luminaries will extend throughout Downtown Hattiesburg on Saturday, December 12th for a Downtown Candlelit Christmas,” said Andrea Saffle, Historic Hattiesburg  Downtown Association Executive Director. “We are excited that the City came on board this year to partner with the Neighborhood to extend the  candle-lined sidewalks throughout downtown.”  In addition to the luminaries there will be lots for visitors to do in Downtown with a performance in the Saenger, Art Exhibits at the Depot, Cultural Center and various galleries throughout downtown, several businesses hosting Holiday Open Houses and of course Photos with Santa.

Other activities throughout Downtown include:

Saturday :

  • 18,000 luminaries will light the sidewalks throughout the 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
  • FREE Grove Transit Shuttle between parking lots, Walthall, Open Houses and Holiday Art Walk Downtown
  • FREE Music Under the Tent featuring:  
  • Court Street United Methodist Church, 609 Southern Ave. presents the Victorian Christmas Café on Saturday, December 12th 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 courstreetumc@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 three  historic homes. The Tour of Homes will run Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm until 8:30pm. Tickets available at the Walthall.
  • Saenger Theater- HCLO presents “The Forgotten Carols” 7pm tickets $16
  • OddFellows Gallery- Tasha Tudor exhibition
  • South Mississippi Art Association- Holiday Art Show, Train Depot
  • Click Space- smART Art kids activities, Photos with Santa, Downtown information.
  • The Little Gallery (a pop up gallery)- 117 E Front Street will be open with exhibits by Rick Wilemon, Dick Ford, Reed Diket, and Christopher Holzinger.
  • Downtown Businesses Open and hosting events:
    • Southern Fried Comics- open
    • Front Street Salon- open house
    • Body Bar- open house
    • Bloom’s- open
    • PlayPen- open
    • McKenzie’s on Main- open
    • Bianchi’s – open
    • Main Street Books- book signings
    • Thirsty Hippo will host Hub City Comedy Showcase 8pm
  • Arts Council will host their Amateur Photography Competition and Exhibition from 7-9pm
  • James McCrory Gallery exhibit in Carter Building
  • HAC’s Open Studio on Front Street will host artist Andrea Kostyal

Sunday:          

  • 18,000 luminaries will light the sidewalks throughout the 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
  • FREE Grove Transit Shuttle between parking lots, Walthall, Open Houses
  • Holiday Tour of Homes will feature three  historic homes. The Tour of Homes will run Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm until 8:30pm. Tickets available at the Walthall.
  • FREE Movies Under the Tent: in conjunction with Little Dog Cinema: 

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.

Click Here to download the 2014 Victorian Candlelit Christmas Events program

2010 Victorian Christmas Carriage ride from Andrea Saffle on Vimeo.

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