A Day In The Life

Christmas and CandlelightOne of my favorite tradit…
November 26, 2006, 1:21 am
Filed under: Travel
Christmas and Candlelight

One of my favorite traditions of the holiday season is to visit Old Washington, Arkansas for the Christmas and Candlelight celebration. Old Washington was established in 1824 on what was at that time a major thoroughfare through the land that would eventually become the state of Arkansas. On September 10, 1863, Little Rock was captured by General Frederick Steele and his Union Army and the Confederate Capitol of Arkansas was moved to Old Washington. It was at one time a bustling metropolis of political and geographical importance in the Old South.

Currently, Old Washington is a quiet village of private homes and 30 restored historical buildings maintained, in part, by the National Society of Historical Preservation. It is also an Arkansas state park. The village is full of Southern Greek Revival and Federalist architecture. Visitors walk along plank board sidewalks beside streets that have never been paved. There is an abundance of magnolia trees and in the spring daffodils bloom with abandon throughout the town.

On the first Saturday in December, Old Washington is adorned with 19th century decorations for the Christmas season. Live greenery swags and wreaths embellish every door, gate and fence. Fruit and herbs are also used in abundance. One of the most amazing sights is the 3,000 luminaries that line every street, driveway and path in Old Washington.

At dusk, area Boy Scout troops swarm through the village and light the luminaries. Minstrels in period dress sing carols as they walk along the streets. Candles twinkle in windows and choirs sing in the churches. A string quartet serenades from the courthouse while the Old Tavern fireplace burns warmly to welcome all who seek respite from the evening chill. Live Christmas trees strung with popcorn, cranberries and other period decorations, grace each building with the sight and scents of the season.

Father Christmas greets children and adults alike as he walks along the streets of the town. Festively decorated carriages also move through the streets.

Old Washington is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year, but I love it most at Christmas. It is a living piece of history that I cherish.


13 Comments so far
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Looks beautiful. I love old homes like that – and luminarios at Christmas time are my favorite thing. I usually try and put some out along my sidewalk.

Comment by Karmyn R

Karmyn was born in Albuquerque NM and there were luminario’s all around the hospital. Thats the first time I ever saw them.

This is a wonderful invitation, songbird. Can I really come and visit.
(big grin)

Comment by Anonymous

Wow that looks and sounds amazing.. Just reading your thoughts on it makes me want to visit there and see the magic of christmas unfold. 🙂

Comment by Anonymous

Songbird…sorry you are having such a difficult time finding me…I’ve been away from blogging for awhile and will not be back at it for about a week. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.
Try this:

Comment by swampwitch

I wonder how come our celebrations of the past here in the west never seem to include horse and buggies or carriages?

Anyway, that sounds like a cool place to visit.

Comment by Angelina

It sounds wonderful…have a great time!

Comment by Anonymous

This is a great post. I love history and I love pictures. Perfect combo!

Comment by Vicki

This looks beautiful. At first I thought it might be in Northwest Arkansas because a long time ago I lived in Washington County and I thought maybe it could be in that county. But it isn’t. 🙂 I am going to see if McD might take me there. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Julie

yes songbird.. my sister sandra lived in hot springs for a few year.
No longer.
She had stories of chigger, ticks, and spiders.

She missed out telling me about all this pretty stuff, too.

She was raising children, so I dont’ think she had time to enjoy

Comment by Anonymous

Very pretty. . .I have always wanted a wrap around porch to hang garland and wreath’s on. . .

Thank you for sharing. . .

Comment by Anonymous

How lovely! Vancouver does something similar, but nothing that charming.

That would even make a Bah Humbug like myself start feeling a bit of the spirit.

Comment by marnie

What a wonderful tour of Old Washington. I love visiting the living history places. This post may help to push me into the Chrismas spirit.
Are you still having problems getting to my place? Maybe try 4-wheel drive?

Comment by swampwitch

So…are you going to make the trip this year?

Comment by Tiggerlane

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