One of the biggest events of the holiday season!
NEW BERN, NC — December 1, 2011
One of the biggest events of the holiday season is Christmas Candlelight at Tryon Palace. It is the rare chance to travel back in time to witness what Christmas was like in the 18th century. Hailed by Time magazine in its Christmas Top 10, Christmas Candlelight occurs only twice each year: the two middle Saturdays in December, this year on December 10 and 17, from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. each evening.
Musicians and colonial entertainers can be found both on the Palace grounds and in the North Carolina History Center. This magical evening is topped off with a spectacular grand illumination fireworks display on the South Lawn.
At this year’s Christmas Candlelight celebration, history comes alive in 1772 colonial New Bern with fascinating characters, elegant dancers and merry musicians. As well as celebrating the recent birth of a baby girl, Governor Martin and his family are marking King George III’s birthday, an event celebrated every year in Britain and colonial America for the reigning monarch. In addition, the Martins are preparing for the holidays, so the Governor’s Palace is beautifully decorated with candles and much greenery for the season.
Outside, the townspeople of New Bern have turned out to see the great folk arrive at the Palace and celebrate these festive events in their own way. Governor Martin has employed circus performers, musicians, and other entertainments to provide merriment for his guests and the townspeople, including a fireworks display at the end of the evening. In the Kitchen Office, the servants in the house have been busy for days preparing for the evening’s entertainment, which has only been made more difficult by the Martin children. At the local coffee house, eavesdrop as patrons not only exchange lighthearted banter, but also debate weighty issues of the day. From Palace dancing to political debates, this evening of pleasantries will also illuminate a pivotal time in our nation’s history
Tours of the Governor’s Palace and site are scheduled on the hour, although there’s also plenty of other celebration on site and in the North Carolina History Center, where there are ongoing performances and activities for the whole family. You can even do a little holiday shopping at the Museum Store and the Holiday Craft and Garden Shop behind the Stable Office, which will both be open during the Candlelight celebrations.
Tickets for Christmas Candlelight at Tryon Palace are $20 adults and $10 students (grades 1-12). It is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., at the North Carolina History Center, 529 S. Front St. (at Metcalf) in New Bern, or by calling 252-639-3524 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
This year, Tryon Palace is offering a holiday special. $25 per adult provides entrée to both the Christmas Candlelight celebration and the Twelfth Night party at the Stanlys, to be held on Thursday, January 5 at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.! Twelfth Night, the last night of Christmas festivities, transports the guests back to January 5th in the year 1803, to a time of mirth and merrymaking. Designed for the enjoyment of adults, there will be entertainments and light refreshments of the era. Who knows, you may be crowned King and Queen of the evening! Space is limited, so call 252-639-3524 to make your reservations. Reservations and prepayment are required by Jan. 3. Payments received after Dec. 16th are by credit card only.
For a complete list of all the Music, Mirth and Merriment during Tryon Palace’s Holiday Celebration, please visit us online at www.tryonpalace.org/calendar or call 800-767-1560.
About Tryon Palace
Tryon Palace, located in New Bern, NC, is part of the Office of Archives and History, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Tryon Palace is one of North Carolina’s most significant historic sites. It is the home of the Governor’s Palace, North Carolina’s first colonial and first state capitol, and includes historic buildings, gardens and the North Carolina History Center, which revolutionizes the visitor experience through use of the latest interactive technology. The History Center includes galleries, a performance hall, the museum store and a waterfront café. Tryon Palace’s mission is to engage present and future generations in the history of North Carolina from early settlement in 1710, the development of statehood and into the mid-twentieth century. It is dedicated to collecting, interpreting and preserving objects, buildings, landscapes and events that enrich understanding of the making of our state and nation.
Main entry to Tryon Palace is North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace, 529 S. Front St., New Bern. Tickets and visitor information are available there. Visitor information is also available at the Tryon Palace Way Station, corner of George and Pollock streets in New Bern. For directions and further information about special events, programs or group tours, employment and more, visit our web site: www.tryonpalace.org or phone (800) 767-1560 or (252) 639-3500.
About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives.
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy. To learn more, visit www.ncculture.com.