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 11 and 18, from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. each evening.
Musicians and colonial entertainers can be found both on the Palace grounds and in the brand new North Carolina History Center. This magical evening is topped off with a spectacular fireworks show on the South Lawn.
At this year's Christmas Candlelight Celebration, history comes alive in colonial New Bern 1774, on the verge of revolution. In the Governor's Palace, alight with hundreds of candles and much greenery, Royal Governor Josiah Martin and Mrs. Martin are throwing a grand ball. On this special evening, the Palace is beautifully decorated and filled with fascinating characters, elegant dancers and merry musicians. In the Kitchen Office, the servants in the house have been busy for days preparing for the evening's entertainment. At the local coffee house behind the Kitchen Office, the recent Continental Congress, tensions in the legislature and other heavy matters are under discussion, along with more lighthearted conversation.
Outside on the Palace grounds, 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 entertainment to provide merriment for his guests and the townspeople, including a fireworks display at the end of the evening. On the grounds behind the Palace, the local militia also have duty on their mind, as they drill and practice. From Palace dancing to political debates, this evening of pleasantries brings alive 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, as well as holiday shopping at the new Museum Store and dining at Lawson's Landing Cafe. No admission is required for the Store and Cafe.
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 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., at the North Carolina History Center, 529 S. Front St. (at Metcalf) in New Bern; or by calling 252-639-3524.
For a complete list of all the Many Days of Christmas at Tryon Palace events and activities, please visit us online at www.tryonpalace.org/calendar or call 800-767-1560.
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'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. The North Carolina History Center complements and enhances this mission and revolutionizes the visitor experience through the use of the latest in interactive mobile technology, putting a personal navigator, guide and reference librarian at each visitor's fingertips at the History Center and throughout the Tryon Palace landscape and gardens.
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 at the Ticket Desk located at the History Center entrance. 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.