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The 45th Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas Hits Hattiesburg

Step back in time for an enchanting holiday experience this weekend in Hattiesburg. Hosted by the Historic Hattiesburg Neighborhood Association, the Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas is one of the most popular holiday events in the Hub City.

The Historic Hattiesburg Neighborhood turns into an enchanted fairyland for two days only as candlelit luminaries line the sidewalks and lead up to the entrances of many of these gorgeous Victorian-era homes. You’ll feel like you’re actually in a Christmas movie.

This special event helps to take care of the Walthall grounds, support the Walthall Condos, provide funding for any beautification projects for the neighborhood, while also financing many of the historic neighborhood’s events such as “Night Out Against Crime” and the Thanksgiving potluck.

The financial support for these events is made possible by Neighborhood Association/Walthall Foundation membership dues of the local neighborhood or you can help support the foundation by joining the association. Hattiesburg citizens can pay the dues to join when they pick up the candle kits which are still available. If you’d like to honor a loved one that is not here with you this year during the holidays and to show your love and support for Hub City, candle kits are still available for purchase.

Make this an exciting family tradition or romantic event for two by taking a carriage ride through the area. Enjoy the fun and the gorgeous view by carriage as you’re led through these beautiful historic homes and see the magical sight of the lights lining the streets. Another reason to not miss out on the carriage ride is that the route this year has been expanded to include Rebecca, Dabbs, and Bay Streets. Ticket prices for the rides are $10 for adults and $5 for children. It is free for kids three and under that are held in your lap. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis so you might want to try to get them as soon as possible as this is always a very popular event. Carriage rides start at 5 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday nights. Whether you view the sights by carriage or prefer to stroll through the neighborhoods, it is definitely a magical sight to see.

Don’t forget to purchase some delicious baked goods donated by the neighbors to enjoy with a warm cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or water that will be available in the Walthall Condos.

This is also the perfect time to do some of your Christmas shopping and find something special or unique for the family or that special someone. The shops are a gorgeous sight to see as they are decked out with whimsical, traditional, and beautiful holiday cheer. A stroll through the beautifully decorated shops is a “must” as your eyes fill with wonder at the lovely sights of Christmas décor. The shopping hours at most of the shops are extended.

As we know in South Mississippi, the weather can change in an instant and is always an unknown factor for the event. The Historic Hattiesburg Neighborhood Association emphasized that the event will only be canceled if there is “a total rain out.” On nights that are extremely windy or receiving pouring down rain, most people save their luminaries for the next night. Otherwise, the show still goes on as the candles still flicker and shine in the misty or light rain and light winds. Despite the weather, all other events will be held according to schedule.

On Saturday, December 11, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm you’ll be serenaded by the gorgeous music of the Hattiesburg Community Theatre held downtown at the beautiful Bay Street Presbyterian Church making it truly a “classic Christmas evening.”

The McLeod House will be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday for a tour of the classic and gorgeous home. Also, don’t forget to take in a nostalgic self-guided tour of the holiday window displays in the downtown district. This year’s theme is “A Downtown Christmas Story.” The Train Depot will play host to the SMAA 45th Annual Art Show from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Historic Saenger Theatre will have Tab Benoit in concert for your musical entertainment. The Southern Prohibition will host its Holiday Party, The Porter will have its Christmas Beer Release. Don’t miss the carolers at the Sacred Heart Church. And definitely stop by to have your picture taken with Santa.

There will be delicious food trucks at the Walthall Park or stop by the Christmas Café for a snack where the man of the hour, Santa himself, will be located. There will be fun photo ops in Walthall Park and virtual tours of the homes this year due to safety reasons. There will be so many more activities for everyone in the family to enjoy.

The 45th Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas is one of Hattiesburg’s longest and most popular events and continues to grow each year, bringing festivities that everyone in the family will love. It truly is an enchanting and magical sight to see with nearly 18,000 flickering luminaries lining the sidewalks of the historic and downtown district. You’ll feel transported into a much simpler, elegant time as garland, bows, twinkling fairy lights, and decorations of all kinds adorn more than 300 homes and businesses in the downtown area.

If you’ve never been to the Annual Victorian Candlelit Christmas in Hattiesburg, you really need to go. See you there!

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Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.

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