Take a step back in time and enjoy a Victorian Christmas in Hattiesburg, Dec. 14 to 15. Partnering with Visit Mississippi, the Historic Hattiesburg Neighborhood welcomes everyone to enjoy an elegant Christmas of years past at the 43rd Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas. The Hub City will light up as the city takes part in the Downtown Candlelit Christmas, and there is sure to be something for everyone in the family to enjoy this weekend full of activities.
The Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas has a storied history that seeks to keep the past alive, showing how our ancestors once decorated and celebrated the holiday season. The event began in the Historic Hattiesburg Neighborhood District in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration and the renovation that had begun in the historic Hattiesburg area, especially in the preservation of those homes built between 1884 to 1930. The neighborhood began to change from a declining area to one that was vibrant and full of life but still celebrated and honored the traditions of the neighborhood’s past. Younger families with children and retirees began to move into the area to bring about a beautiful mixture of personalities and cultures to the area that are represented in the gorgeous homes and decorations displayed throughout the neighborhood.
The event has become a Pine Belt and state favorite as it continually draws large crowds to take part in the beauty of the season. Every year, hundreds of visitors are drawn to Hattiesburg to see this magical event and are enchanted by the majestic sight of flickering luminaries that line the Downtown District and the Historic Neighborhoods. The lines of white paper bags with shining candles all aglow down the sidewalks are truly a sight to behold. What once started as a one-day celebration with about a thousand luminaries has grown into a magnificent two-day celebration, featuring over 18,000 luminaries and a variety of activities.
Come enjoy a much different time of our area’s history—a simpler time. Take a walk among the luminaries lighting over 300 businesses and homes that have been decorated for the season. You’ll feel that you have been transported back in time as you are serenaded by carolers and hear the gleeful sounds of children excited about the upcoming holiday.
Guests are invited to take a charming horse-drawn carriage around the neighborhood and admire the glowing beauty from a different angle and enjoy a bit of historical charm. Take a Holiday Tour of the Historic Homes, and you’ll be enchanted by the gorgeous homes and Victorian decorations, as well as the hospitality that abounds throughout the Hub City throughout the year. Enjoy some cider and other refreshments at the Walthall, and you’ll journey to a historic holiday time.
Carriage rides are available from 5 to 9 p.m. and last about 15 to 20 minutes as they wind around the beautiful historic area. Tickets for adults are $10, children 12 and under are $5, and there is no charge for children in an adult’s arms. Hayrides will be offered on Sunday and will be $5 for everyone ages five and up. Tickets can be purchased on-site or at the Walthall during the event both days. Historic Homes tour tickets are $10 for 3 homes.
Many downtown businesses will be open for you to do some last-minute shopping or grab a delicious dinner or snack as you stroll through the neighborhoods and downtown area to enjoy the magical world of Christmas in this gorgeous historic event.