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On Friday, December 6, enjoy free live music, holiday decorations, and traditional treats at the twenty-fourth annual Christmas by Candlelight Tour. This year seven sites will be open and sporting holiday decorations—the State Capitol, Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Old Capitol Museum, Manship House Museum, Eudora Welty House & Garden, Museum of Mississippi History, and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

Park and take advantage of the shuttle buses running between sites or drive your vehicle and come and go on your own schedule. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and lasts until 8 p.m.

Governor Phil Bryant and First Lady Deborah Bryant will welcome visitors to the Mississippi Governor's Mansion, which will be decorated with seasonal greenery and a twelve-foot Christmas tree. Piano music will be performed inside the mansion throughout the evening. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will also greet guests to take family photos in the East Garden gazebo. Piping hot chocolate and state-shaped Christmas cookies will be served outside.

The 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. Visitors are invited to take photographs with Santa Claus. The Sessions Jazz Ensemble, led by Senate Staff Attorney Bob Davidson, will perform. On the third floor, visit the chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives. The State Capitol Gift Shop will be open.

The Old Capitol Museum 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 Hinds Community College Brass Band at 4:30 p.m.; Pearl High School Choir at 5 p.m.; Jackson State University Choir at 5:30 p.m.; St. Andrews Episcopal School Choir at 6 p.m.; Madison Middle School Choir at 6:30 p.m.; and Germantown High School Choir at 7 p.m; and the Mississippi Girlchoir at 7:30 p.m.

The Manship House Museum will sport period holiday decorations. Musical performances will include the Figgy Pudding Singers of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church at 5 p.m., and the Bonnie Blue Band singing songs of the Civil War era from 6 to 8 p.m. A selfie station and children’s crafts will be available.

Visitors to the Eudora Welty House & Garden will tour the living room of Welty’s house and see ornaments, poinsettias, holiday photographs. Music-themed children’s crafts will be available, and adults may use the manual typewriter on display to make a retro holiday card. Enjoy replicas of Welty’s famous fruitcake recipe, made by students in the Mississippi University for Women culinary arts program. Keyboardist Sergio Fernandez plays jazz standards in the Education and Visitors Center. The gift shop will be open with a holiday discount for select items.

The model town of Possum Ridge and its trains will be displayed on the second floor of the The Two Mississippi Museums—the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Performing will be Ballet Mississippi at 5 p.m., Cade Chapel M.B. Church Choir at 5:30 p.m., and T.B. Ledford and the Accumulators at 6:15 p.m. Staff will serve refreshments. The Mississippi Museum Store will be open and have a wide selection of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa items for sale, along with local pottery, Choctaw baskets and jewelry, signed books, and other Mississippi gift ideas.

For more information about the Christmas by Candlelight Tour call 601-576-6850 or email info@mdah.ms.gov.

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