In the 1830s, Christmas in Roscoe Village was less about gifts and more a festive, religious celebration of family and friends. Children were fortunate to receive handmade toys. Often gifts were more practical in nature such as warm pairs of socks or mittens, a scarf or a warm hat. There wasn’t an overabundance of spices, so a baked good at Christmastime might be as simple as caraway seed cookies.
Much of this old fashioned Christmas joy and time of reflection is rekindled each year in December during the annual Candlelighting celebrations in Historic Roscoe Village. These holiday ceremonies are free to the public and begin at 6:00pm at the main stage near the center of the village on December 2nd and December 9th, 2017.
Prior to the ceremonies, guests may enjoy a walk down Whitewoman Street as the village will be quaintly decorated for the holiday season. They may browse the charming shops for unique Christmas gifts or share a holiday meal at one of the fine restaurants in the village. Christmas carolers will be singing along the street, filling the air with the cheerful sounds of holiday music.
The Roscoe Christmas tour will be available for guests to experience some of the historical holiday traditions. The Roscoe Village Visitor Center will have canal era hands-on activities to purchase and local crafter made items for sale in the gift shop. Horse-drawn carriage rides are offered for a fee and guests may board the carriage in the front of the Visitor Center and enjoy a ride through the village to the main stage area. The smell of roasting chestnuts will fill the afternoon air, a tasty holiday treat and tradition. There will also be free hot mulled cider and cookies available before the ceremony, near the center of the village.
Guests will converge at the main stage area in the village at 6:00pm for the Candlelighting ceremony. The crowd will listen to an invocation from a pastor, a holiday song by a choir and the recitation of a Christmas story by a special guest storyteller. The 30-foot Christmas tree will be lit as the Honorary Candlelighter lights his/her candle and passes it to one person in the crowd. The flame is then passed throughout the crowd until each person’s candle is lit as everyone softly sings the first verse of Silent Night. The pastor will then give a benediction, the choir will sing a special carol and the ceremony will conclude with each person joining in to sing a final Christmas carol.
A special Roscoe Village Christmas lantern tour begins back at the Visitor Center at 7:00pm after each Candlelighting ceremony. Reservations for the evening tour should be made in advance. A Roscoe Christmas guided tour will be available the month of December each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Experience some of the 1830s holiday traditions and treats. Contact the Roscoe Village Visitor Center at 800-877-1830 or 740-622-7644. Admission and parking are FREE for the Candlelighting ceremonies.