Christmas and Candlelight at Historic Washington State Park will offer two evenings of Christmas season music and special holiday events combined for a unique Christmas experience in the only working 19th Century village in the Arkansas State Parks system.
The first performance will be Saturday, followed by the final performance on Dec. 14, Marketing Director Patricia Thomas said.
This will mark the 27th year that park staff and volunteers will open historic homes and other venues to holiday visitors for a special step back in time to Christmas in early Arkansas.
Musical events for both Saturday and Dec. 14 evenings will begin at 5 p.m., with a variety of performances and venues throughout the park, Thomas said.
Opening the evening in the WPA era Gymnasium will be the Nashville Primary School Choir at 5 p.m., followed by Steve Lance, of Hope, at 5:34 p.m., and Mike Eudy, of Hope, at 6:30 p.m., and capped by The Stewart Family Singers, of Hempstead County, at 7:15 p.m.
Soloist Brenda Westerbuhr will perform at the Royston House, accompanied by Trudy Gibson, both of Washington, beginning at 5 p.m. through 8 p.m.
The Washington Methodist Church will feature the St. Luke CME Choir, of Hempstead County, at 5 p.m., followed by Charlie Pippin, of Washington, at 5:45 p.m., and Shelly Keith, Hope, at 6:30 p.m., with the Hempstead County Melody Boys, of Hope, concluding the program at 7:15 p.m.
Performing at 5 p.m. at the Washington Baptist Church will be Jan Whatley, of Nashville, followed at 5:45 p.m. by Jacque Ford, of Washington, at 5:45 p.m. and Dan Ford, of Washington, at 6:30 p.m.
In the Washington Presbyterian Church venue, the First Presbyterian Church, of Hope, will present the program at 5 p.m., followed by Ellen March and Beth Formby, of Hope, at 5:45 p.m., and the Twin City Sensations, of Texarkana, will perform at 6:30 p.m., followed by Tonja Stewart, of Ozan at 7:15 p.m.
Williams Tavern Restaurant will feature music of the season by The Keiths, of Hope, from 5-6:15 p.m.
Performances at the 1874 Court House begin at 5 p.m. with The Brewers, of Hope, followed by Dear Old Town Club Readings at 5:45 p.m., and the Spiritual Wonders, of Hope, will perform at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Ouachita Baptist University Flute Choir, of Arkadelphia, at 7:15 p.m.
Complimentary refreshments will be provided by the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archive Foundation in the WPA Gym from 3-8 p.m.
“The park will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days, but to enjoy the thousands of luminaries and special music you may want to wait until later in the afternoon to pay a visit,” Thomas said. “Tour locations and homes will be adorned in 19th Century style decorations including natural handmade wreaths and swags tailored by park staff and volunteers the week of the event.”
Page 2 of 2 - Evening programming and tours begin at 1 p.m., with lighting of the luminaries to take place at dusk.
“The famous William’s Tavern Restaurant Christmas Buffet will be served for both lunch and dinner, so you don’t have to miss out on that tasty tradition no matter what time you arrive for the event,” Thomas said. “Whether you choose to stroll the boardwalk streets or take a ride on the horse drawn surrey, you don’t want to miss bringing in the Christmas season the old fashion way with Historic Washington State Park.”
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12, plus tax, and may be purchased at a $1 discount when ordered prior to Dec. 7 from the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives by calling 870-983-2633.
“You may also purchase tickets at regular price at Historic Washington State Park the night of the event,” Thomas said.
Historical Washington State Park is located eight miles from Interstate 30 Exit 30 at Hope on U. S. Highway 278. For more information contact Historic Washington at 870-983-2684 or at HistoricWashington@Arkansas.com online.