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  • December 06, 2013 - December 22, 2013

Old Sturbridge Village hosts Christmas by Candlelight

Nostalgic look at holiday traditions, music, and food;

Nine evening celebrations set for December 6-8; 13-15; 20-22

Like a vintage holiday painting come to life, each December living history museum Old Sturbridge Village transforms itself into an enchanted 19th-century village for its memorable Christmas by Candlelight celebrations, complete with horse-drawn sleigh rides, carolers in costume, Christmas trees, yule logs, gingerbread houses, mistletoe, and sugar plums.  As visitors stroll through the candlelit Village, they can meet Father Christmas and Santa Claus, join in a Christmas Carol sing-a-long, hear holiday music, and much more.

Old Sturbridge Village historians share the history behind today's favorite holiday traditions like Christmas carols and candy canes, roasted chestnuts, plum pudding, poinsettias, and more. Visitors can view dozens of hand-made gingerbread houses and vote for their favorite entry in the Village's annual Gingerbread House Contest. Now in its eleventh year, OSV's Christmas by Candlelight celebrations are set for 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings Dec. 6-8, 13-15, and 20-22. The Museum Gift Shop and Oliver Wight Tavern will be open for holiday shopping and dining during Christmas by Candlelight. Event sponsors are Fallon Community Health Plan and Savers Bank. Each family group attending Christmas by Candlelight will receive a coupon for free OSV daytime admission for up to 5 family members during school vacation week Dec. 26 - Jan. 5, 2014. For details: www.osv.org; 508-347-3362.

In contrast to the frenzied commercialism of the modern Christmas season, Old Sturbridge Village's Christmas by Candlelight gives visitors a chance to slow down and enjoy the old-fashioned spirit of the holidays and learn how today's favorite traditions originated. Visitors can actually see "chestnuts roasting on an open fire" and hear why they were a favored treat in early New England. Guests can also make Christmas keepsakes and craft a tin ornament while finding out the history of Christmas tree decorations. And visitors of all ages are invited to tell Santa Claus what is on their holiday wish list.

Live performances include Victorian carolers, Punch and Judy puppet shows, five different holiday-themed readings, including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and nativity stories and Bob Olson's Holiday Magic show. A model train display returns this year, and other Christmas by Candlelight exhibits include an extensive nativity set with hundreds of pieces and a miniature New England village.

Musical performers include a wide range of professional, student, and community musicians, including Full Gael Celtic Christmas, Worcester Men of Song, Quintebrass, Elm Street Handbells, Boston Jazz Voices, Broadmoor Chamber Singers, Quaboag Singers, Trebelsome, Jaques Ave Five, Vocal Revolution, Calliope Young at Heart Singers, Hickory Strings Acoustic Christmas, the Northampton Woodwind Quintet, Traidisiun Celtic Christmas, Stowe Fife and Drum, Nathan Hale Fife and Drum, Pawtuxet Rangers Fife and Drum, and the Old Sturbridge Village Singers. Student musicians from Worcester State University and a number of area high schools and church choirs will also perform. A current schedule is listed below, but for the most up to date information, visit www.osv.org.

In order to focus on the evening holiday events, Old Sturbridge Village will be closed during the day from December 2-25. The Village will be open for Christmas by Candlelight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings from 4:00 - 9:00 pm. Dec. 6-8; Dec. 13-15, and Dec. 20-22. The Village will return to a daytime schedule for its popular school vacation week activities Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014.

Old Sturbridge Village celebrates life in early New England from 1790 - 1840 and is the oldest and largest living history museums in the northeast. Located just off the Massachusetts Turnpike and Routes I-84 and 20 in Sturbridge, Mass., OSV is open year-round, but days and hours vary seasonally. For details, visit www.osv.org or call 800-SEE-1830.

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