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Experience Christmas Traditions Old and New in Prince William & Manassas, VA

November 15, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Step back in time as the streets of quaint towns are transformed with twinkling lights and historic homes are opened for visitors to get a glimpse into the holiday traditions of America’s past.

From holiday performances to candlelit tours and lessons from a Civil War-era Santa there is something for both the young and young at heart to experience in Prince William & Manassas, Virginia this holiday season.gI_116415_brentsvilleholidayPWPF

The celebrations commence Dec. 6 with Merry Old Town. From the Christmas parade to the free carriage rides, merchant open house and the arrival of Santa on the commuter train, the City of Manassas truly embraces the spirit of the holidays.

Prince William’s historic preservation division will give visitors a rare look into holiday customs over the years.

During the weekend of Dec. 7, participate in candle-lit tours of Rippon Lodge-one of Prince William’s oldest homes- and experience holiday celebrations from colonial Virginia to World War II. At Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, take photos with a Civil War–era Santa who will don his suit from 1862 and join in a traditional Christmas service in a historic Union church.

New this year, visitors can discover how the enslaved community celebrated the holidays at Ben Lomond Historic Site. On Dec. 14, take a candle lit tour of the house and slave quarter as the enslaved community of Ben Lomond comes to life through living history vignettes.

Also on Dec. 14, visitors can get a rare glimpse into another historic home in Prince William-The Weems-Botts Museum. Once home to George Washington’s biographer Parson Weems, this museum will host a Victorian Christmas, complete with live music, Victorian crafts and a visit from Santa.

One of the last holiday events for the season takes place at Leesylvania State Park on Dec. 21 & 22. During the two-day celebration, take photos with a Civil War-era Santa, enjoy period music, make decorations and visit with costumed interpreters.

Visitors should also check the schedule at Hylton Performing Arts Center for a complete list of holiday performances at this stunning theater.

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