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Historic Harpers Ferry carries on holiday tradition

By Staff | Nov 30, 2018

Harpers Ferry is decorated in preparation for Olde Tyme Christmas. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

HARPERS FERRY — Harpers Ferry will celebrate the 48th Annual Harpers Ferry Olde Tyme Christmas festival, beginning today. Olde Tyme Christmas will continue this weekend through Sunday, as well as next weekend, on Dec. 8 and 9.

The Olde Tyme Christmas festival offers performances meant to capture the spirit of a historic Christmas celebration, where quaintly decorated streets come alive for the holiday season. The Lower Town is decorated with boughs of greenery per holidays of old.

Attractions for the annual holiday event include the lighting of the yule log and the Christmas tree during the opening ceremonies on Friday.

Burning the Yule Log is a crucial Christmas tradition in many areas. The custom of the Yule log varies from region to region. It was originally a large tree brought to the house with great ceremony. On Christmas, people light the Yule log placed in the hearth, wishing it burns for longer. It is customary to say prayers and sing Christmas songs while performing the traditional activity.

In addition to the Yule log tradition and the lighting of the tree, live entertainment performances will take place throughout both weekends including musicians and historians sharing the tales of Christmas past.

St. Peter’s Catholic Church will feature their annual Live Nativity during Olde Tyme Christmas weekend, as well. Visitors are welcome to come see the historic church decorated for the season. The lighting of the tree outside of the church will take place just after the opening ceremonies on Friday evening.

A variety of historic presentations and other demonstrations will also take place Friday evening, including a candy-making demonstration and class. While attending these events, visitors should keep an eye out for Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be making various walking tours around town.

For complete details on all the Olde Tyme Christmas events, visit www.experienceharpersferry.com.