2016 Candlelight Celebration

This famed North Carolina tradition returns to Tryon Palace in 2016 with beautiful, new decorations and heartwarming holiday vignettes illuminated by the magical glow of candlelight.

Saturdays, Dec. 10 & 17, 4:30-9:30 p.m. (Tickets go on sale Aug. 1)

Step back in time to a critical point in the Revolutionary War. The year is 1780 inside the Governor’s Palace and the Continental Army has experienced several defeats, and British forces are now encroaching on Charlestown. However, with the recent victory against Loyalists at Kings Mountain, North Carolina Governor Abner Nash has decided to embrace hope and help the citizens of North Carolina remember the good times from the past … and those that will come after America has won its independence.


Inside the Stanly House it is 1803 and the family truly has a reason to celebrate. After the duel which led to the death of Richard Dobbs Spaight in September 1802, John Stanly had to flee to South Carolina to escape charges for murder. His friends have successfully petitioned North Carolina Governor Benjamin Williams to issue a pardon. With this news, John has been able to come back from exile in a triumphant return to New Bern. What better way for the Stanly family to celebrate than with a Twelfth Night party? As all of New Bern rebuilds from a fire in June 1835, George Dixon is determined to give his children the Christmas he never had as a child. His wife, Antoinette, is a bit more financially practical and is convinced they can give their children a good Christmas without breaking the bank. In the Commission House Mr. and Mrs. Mohn are hosting a classic 1950s Christmas Eve party with their children, grandchildren, and their friends from town.

While walking around the candlelit grounds, be sure to catch the entertaining circus acts, fire eating, sword swallowing, and acrobatics of the Pickled Brothers Circus, the mysterious magic of 18th-century magician Rodney the Younger, the joyous sights and sounds of the Tryon Palace Jonkonnu troupe, and much more. Also, warm up with hot cider and cookies from Mack’s Cider House in the Trades Building. Then, end your enchanted evening with a show of black powder fireworks on the Tryon Palace South Lawn. 

Candlelight is a rain or shine event, but fireworks may be cancelled during extreme weather conditions. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

2016 Sponsors

Candleight Christmas has become a holiday tradition like no other and enjoyed by generations, but the magic of Candlelight is only possible with the generosity of donors like you. Please join us in making 2016 a year to remember with a contribution to Tryon Palace’s Candlelight Christmas Celebration.

2016 Sponsorships

The magic and beauty of Candlelight would not be possible without the help of generous businesses and individuals like you. All Candlelight sponsors receive tickets to Candlelight, our opening-night reception, and are promoted during our fall/winter marketing campaign as being a proud supporter of Tryon Palace.

Download our sponsor form to learn more or call the Tryon Palace Development Office at 1-800-767-1560.

Sponsor Benefits and Marketing Opportunities