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On Friday, December 1, enjoy free live music, holiday decorations, and traditional treats at the twenty-second annual Christmas by Candlelight Tour. The State Capitol, Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Old Capitol Museum, Manship House Museum, Eudora Welty House and Garden, and William F. Winter Building will be decked out in seasonal decorations for the tour. Take advantage of the free buses running between sites or drive your vehicle and come and go on your own schedule. The tour begins at 4:30 p.m. and lasts until 8:30 p.m.

The circa-1842 Mississippi Governor's Mansion will be decorated with seasonal greenery and a twelve-foot Christmas tree. The East Garden will be open, and a very special guest from the North Pole will greet visitors. Gingerbread and sugar cookies prepared by mansion chef Jamie Patrick will be served along with hot chocolate. Christmas piano music will be performed inside the mansion from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The grand Mississippi State Capitol will be decorated with three lighted Christmas trees on the first- and second-floor rotundas. Garlands will adorn the rotunda’s balustrades, and Mississippi-grown poinsettias will line the grand staircase. Music will be provided throughout the evening by Sessions Jazz Ensemble, led by Senate Legislative Services director Bob Davidson. Photos with Santa Claus will be available. On the third floor, visit the chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives and the ceremonial office of the Governor.

The Old Capitol, Jackson’s oldest building, will suspend garlands from the rotunda railing on the second floor and the stairwells and decorate the exterior of the building with wreaths. A fourteen-foot-tall Christmas tree will stand in the Chancery Court room. Performing will be the Highland Bluff Elementary School Choir, 4:30–4:55 p.m.; Hinds Community College Choir, 5–5:25 p.m.; Davis Elementary School Choir, 5:30–5:55 p.m.; the Mississippi Girlchoir, 6–6:20 p.m.; the Florence Elementary choir, 6:30–6:55 p.m.; the Murrah High School Singers, 7–7:30 p.m.; and the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Upper School Choir, 7:30–7:55 p.m. The Hinds Community College Brass Ensemble will play between sets throughout the evening.

The 1857 Gothic Revival Manship House Museum will interpret Clement Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas. Musical performances will include the Figgy Pudding Singers of St. Phillips Episcopal Church, 5–5:45 p.m., and the Bonnie Blue Band singing songs of the Civil War era from 6 to 8 p.m. The Hinds Community College School of Culinary Arts will provide treats made from nineteenth century recipes adapted from Common Sense in the Household, a cookbook owned by Kate Manship.

Visitors to the Eudora Welty House and Garden will tour the first floor of Welty’s house and see holiday photographs and a selection of greeting cards written by poet laureate William Jay Smith, British author V.S. Pritchett, artist Jose de Creeft, American writer Katherine Anne Porter, and others. Keyboardist Sergio Fernandez will play jazz standards in the Education and Visitors Center.

At the William Winter Building, the ever-popular model town of Possum Ridge and its trains will be on display. Historic holiday-themed videos from the WLBT Newsfilm Collection and footage of a Cleveland, Mississippi, Christmas parade during the 1940s will be shown. There will be opportunities for photos at our selfie station, and children can make paper trees and snowflakes.

For more information about the Christmas by Candlelight Tour call 601-961-4724 or email info@mdah.ms.gov.

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