Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas

On Dec. 9-10, 2017, The Historic Hattiesburg Neighborhood will celebrate the 41st Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas event. Local residents and visitors are invited to attend the weekend filled with holiday festivities and events downtown. 

“The atmosphere during this weekend will be nostalgic and family-friendly. Candle luminaries will line the streets of the historic neighborhood and Downtown Hattiesburg, and horse-drawn wagon rides will be offered in the neighborhood. Add the outdoor Christmas music in Town Square Park, and visitors will be sure to find their holiday cheer.

The Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas event is a longtime, two-day holiday favorite that draws hundreds of visitors from across the region to explore the spectacle of 18,000 white bags with flickering candles, lining the sidewalks of the Historic Neighborhood and the Downtown District. Guests experience the nostalgia of a simpler time as they walk along streets lined with luminaries and see more than 300 homes and businesses decorated for the holidays. 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. 

Schedule of Activities:

Saturday and Sunday: 
• Victorian Candlelit Christmas: 18,000 luminaries will light the sidewalks throughout the Historic Neighborhood and Downtown. 
• Carriage rides will circle through the neighborhood leaving the Walthall (600 Rebecca Ave.) starting at 5 p.m. and continuing until 9 p.m. Each will take 15-20 minutes. Tickets for the carriage rides will be $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12 and will be sold only at the Walthall both days.
• FREE Grove Transit Shuttle will be available between various marked parking lots for Walthall, Open Houses and Downtown. Refreshments will be for sale in the Walthall, including hot chocolate, coffee, chili, and baked goods. 
• Holiday Tour of Homes will feature historic homes and the Masonic Lodge. The Tour of Homes will run Saturday and Sunday from 5:30pm until 8:30pm. Tickets available at the Walthall.
• “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All” holiday window displays throughout downtown. 
• Bay Street Presbyterian Church (202 Short Bay St.), which is 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.

Saturday Only:
• Court Street United Methodist Church (609 Southern Ave.) presents the Victorian Christmas Café on Dec. 9from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 per plate, $20.00 for family of five. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be in the chapel from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and there will be a Live Manger Scene Petting Zoo. Contact courtstreetumc@bellsouth.net or call 601.583.1711 for ticket information.
• Sacred Heart Church is hosting Christmas Carolers on the Steps from 6 to 7 p.m. 
• The “Brew HoHo Celebration” kicks off at the Historic Saenger Theater at 9 p.m. This ticketed event benefits the Hub City Players.
• Jingle Jam: Music in the Park is at Town Square Park from 5 to 9 p.m.
• Front Street Holiday Market is from 5 to 8:30 p.m. 
• The South Mississippi Art Association is hosting its 41st Annual Holiday Art Show at the Historic Train Depot from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Background History of Victorian Candlelit Christmas

Candlelighting began in the 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 18,000 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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