Strawbery Banke Museum Celebrates 34th Annual Candlelight Stroll

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Once Upon a Winter’s Eve

Candlelight Stroll. (c) David Murray, Clear Eye Photo

Strawbery Banke Museum celebrates “Once Upon a Winter’s Eve” during the 34th annual Candlelight Stroll, December 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22, 2013. The event takes place from 5 to 9 pm on Saturdays and 4 to 8 pm on Sundays. Candlelight Stroll is generously supported by Bank of America, the New Hampshire State Council for the Arts, Lincoln Financial Group, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Amica Insurance, The Provident Bank, Newburyport Five Cents Savings, R.M. Davis, Inc, The Mark Wentworth Home, Kennebunk Savings, the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel, Darrell’s Music Hall, Bruce Mast & Associates, Inc., Northeast Credit Union, and Wentworth Greenhouses.

Showcasing 350 years of seasonal and holiday traditions against the backdrop of the Museum’s furnished historic houses. On these weekend evenings, the Museum grounds glow with hundreds of lighted candle lanterns, the houses are adorned with thousands of hand-made decorations crafted from live greens and dried flowers and herbs collected from the Museum gardens, and the air is filled with the sound of holiday music and scent of woodsmoke.

Visitors stroll from house to historic house, greeted by costumed role players and performers who recreate the traditions of times past, rediscovering the joys of simpler times. A toasty bonfire crackles throughout the event to warm frosty fingers and toes. Complimentary refreshments and hot apple cider are offered at the Cider Shed. The White Apron Café at Strawbery Banke offers light meals and serves a pub menu in Pitt Tavern — visited by George Washington, John Hancock, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Traditional hearth-cooking demonstrations, crafts demonstrations, and winter projects for kids provide interactive fun for multiple generations. “Candlelight Stroll is a cherished holiday tradition that offers a charming setting for children and adults to enjoy America’s multicultural holiday activities and customs,” said Strawbery Banke Museum president and CEO Lawrence J. Yerdon. “Candlelight Stroll is a magical event at an enchanting time of year. We are delighted to anchor the city-wide Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth celebration with this authentic and unique experience.”

Highlights this Year

The theme for this year’s Candlelight Stroll is “Once Upon A Winter’s Eve” and visitors will experience a variety of holiday preparations across cultures and across time:

  • ALDRICH HOUSE — 1908 Pineapples & Posies with Mrs. Lillian Aldrich
  • CHASE HOUSE — 1818 A Mid-Winter Wedding
  • GOODWIN MANSION — 1870 T’was the Night Before Christmas
  • MARDEN-ABBOTT HOUSE & STORE — 1943 Dreaming of a White Christmas
  • SHAPIRO HOUSE — 1919 Fourth Night of Hanukkah
  • SHAPLEY-DRISCO HOUSE — 1795 Snowy Days on Puddle Dock and a 1958 Holiday Avon Party.

— Live music, cookies & hot cider at the Cider Shed.
— Horse drawn carriage rides
— bundle up on Puddle Dock and enjoy this age-old tradition.
— Families learn wreath-making and create handmade holiday decorations in the Jones House.
— Savor 18th century holiday hearth cooking and tinsmith crafting handmade lanterns and tin star ornaments in the Wheelwright House.

Tickets and Other Information

Avoid lines by purchasing tickets in advance! Tickets can be purchased in advance in person at the Strawbery Banke Visitors Center at 14 Hancock Street up to the date of the event. Advance tickets may also be purchased online at  starting November 1st. Tickets are $22/adults, $11/children (ages 5-17), and $55/family. Group and corporate rates are available. November discount: $2 off the ticket price on all tickets purchased by November 30, 2013.

Visitors who are concerned about parking for this popular event can enjoy all that Portsmouth has to offer hassle free with the FREE Vintage Christmas trolley connecting Strawbery Banke Museum, The Music Hall, the municipal parking garage on Hanover Street, and numerous free satellite parking areas. The trolley is generously provided by the City of Portsmouth as part of a Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth. The Vintage Christmas collaboration aims to highlight the rich seasonal programs of Strawbery Banke Museum and The Music Hall, and is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the City of Portsmouth, Strawbery Banke Museum, The Music Hall, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, and local hotels and retail shops.