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Sights of the Season Festivities: To keep your calendar cheerful, here's a roundup of the many merry celebrations planned throughout the region.


In Chesapeake City, a barbershop quartet practices its notes. The scents of a holiday feast and homemade cookies waft through the air at Gunston Hall Plantation in Virginia, while cannons and bayonets are dusted and shined in Williamsburg. A log-house settlement in Salem, W. Va., prepares for a Scottish-Irish and German holiday. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's Hard Rock Cafe prepares for a jolly visit, and Peter Pan readies his big show in Odessa, Del.

The holidays are coming and with them a flock of regional festivities. Here's a look at ways to fill in the blanks on your holiday calendar.


* WORCESTER COUNTY: More than 800,000 bulbs light the way at the sixth annual Winterfest of Lights in Ocean City's Northside Park. A 10-minute train ride aboard the park's Winterfest Express takes visitors past displays of downhill skiers, Santa playing softball and Jurassic Park dinosaurs. Lights will continue to shine nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 3. Enter on the bay side of 127th Street. There is no admission charge to see the light exhibit, but the train ride through the exhibit costs $2 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 17, free for children 5 and under. Call 800-OC-OCEAN or 410-250-0125.

* ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY: The annual "Lights on the Bay," a 2]-mile drive-through light display in Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, opens Nov. 20 and continues through Jan. 3. Musical performances are scheduled for December. Sandy Point State Park is at Exit 32, off U.S. 50 East. Admission: $12 a car, $50 a bus. Call 410-295-3161.

Annapolis' annual Candlelight Pub Crawl will begin at Governor Calvert House on State Circle and continue, by candlelight, to either Griffin's or Middleton Tavern. After supper, the Maryland Inn will serve dessert and coffee. Crawls take place at 7 p.m. Sundays and Thursdays from Dec. 6 to Dec. 20. Price: $73 a person. Call 410-263-5401.

The 16th annual Eastport Yacht Club's Lights Parade is Dec. 12 and will again travel Spa Creek to Severn River and up "Ego Alley" to City Dock. This free event is a spectacle of beautifully decorated boats. Boats can be seen in and around Annapolis harbor from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Call 410-263-0415.

* MONTGOMERY COUNTY: The third annual 3 1/2-mile course through Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg will feature animated and stationary light displays from Nov. 27 through Jan. 2. Hours: 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Christmas Day. Admission: $10 a car, $25 for 15-passenger vans, $50 for buses. Call 301-258-6350 Ext. 401.

Custom-made displays with garden and nature themes highlight Brookside Gardens' Garden of Lights event Nov. 27 through Jan. 3. The park is at 1800 Glenallan Avenue in Wheaton. Admission: $10 a car or van. Bus trips must be arranged in advance by calling 301-962-1457. Call 301-962-1453.

* PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY: In Upper Marlboro, Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, is transformed by the 12th Annual Winter Festival of Lights. The drive-through light display features more than 450,000 colored lights outlining buildings, shrubbery, trees and roadways, and is open Nov. 27 through Jan. 3 from dark to 9:30 p.m. Admission: free; canned food donations are encouraged. Call 301-699-2545.

* CARROLL COUNTY: The Westminster Holiday House Tour features more than five historic homes along Court and Willis streets, each decorated for the holidays and filled with seasonal music. Doors will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 5. Admission: $10 before Nov. 20; $12 on day of tour. Call 410-848-7967 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

* CECIL COUNTY: Chesapeake City presents a 19th-century Christmas Candlelight House and Walking Tour along the historic main strip, Bohemia Avenue. Featured will be carriage rides ($4) and barbershop quartets, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 12. Admission: $10 reserved; $12 at the door. Call 410-885-5377.

* SOMERSET COUNTY: Cris-field's Christmas tree lighting and caroling celebration begins Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the city dock and continues until 7 p.m., when the Wonderland of Trees, more than 15 holiday trees decorated by area organizations, will be lighted for the first time at Governor Tawes Homeplace on Asbury Avenue. The tree display will remain lighted nightly from 6 to 8 until Dec. 18. On Dec. 19, hours will be 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; at 4:30 p.m. a reception and auction of the decorated trees will take place. Admission: $3 for adults, free for children 12 and younger. Call 410-651-2968 or 800-521-9189.

* FREDERICK COUNTY: A self-guided Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship along Church and Second and other streets of downtown Frederick spotlights area churches and synagogues where presentations, choir and handbell performances will be given Dec. 27, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Start at the Visitor's Center, 19 E. Church St., and pick up a brochure for a suggested route and a listing of programs at each location. Admission: free. Call 301-663-8687 or 800-999-3613.

For a complete listing of Maryland holiday events, call 800-272-8563.


* Union Station, 40 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., is transformed into a Norwegian postcard during the second annual Christmas in Norway event, Dec. 1 through Jan. 3. Life in Norway through the ages is depicted in different holiday programs with music, a shopping bazaar and craft shows. A Viking ship will be on display throughout the month, and a holiday model train exhibit can be seen daily. Other highlights include: Holiday Bazaar sponsored by the Sons of Norway, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5; a Viking weekend with re-enactments of sword-fighting, demonstrations of Viking handicrafts and Norwegian music, 10 a.m to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 19-20. Free. Events are subject to change; call 202-289-1908.

* At the west side of the Capitol, the 35th annual People's Christmas tree will be lighted at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8. This free event will be accompanied by the Congressional Chorus and a military band performing holiday carols. Ceremonies start at 5 p.m. Call 202-224-3069.

* President Clinton will illuminate the 85th annual National Christmas Tree during a free ceremony at the Ellipse Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. The tree will remain lighted until Jan. 1 and will be accompanied by a Nativity scene, nightly choral performances and individually decorated trees representing each state. Call 202-619-7222.

* The Cathedral Choral Society performs seasonal classics such as Saint-Saens' "Christmas Oratorio," Mendelssohn's "Von Himmel Hoch" and Mozart's "Exsultate, Jubilate" during the Joy of Christmas Concert at the Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues Northwest. Performances are 4 p.m. Dec. 12-13, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Admission: $15-$35. Call 202-537-8980.

* The White House will offer its annual Christmas Candlelight Tours Dec. 28-30. A popular event, these free tours run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Visitors should arrive early to ensure a space on the tour of the first family's home, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Anyone in line at the southeast gate by 7 p.m. is admitted. Call 202-456-7041.


* Virginia Beach brightens up with an extra 350,000 bulbs when its fourth annual "Holiday Lights at the Beach" kicks off Nov. 20. Along the 25 blocks of lighted streets are more than 200 displays, including dolphins, sailboats and St. Nick. Visitors drive along the boardwalk - the only time during the year this is $H permitted - and can listen to a complimentary "Holiday Lights" cassette. The display shines Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. through Jan. 3. Admission: Fridays and Saturdays $9 a car; other nights $7 a car. Call 800-VA-BEACH.

* Williamsburg's Christmas season formally begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 with the simultaneous lighting of candles known as the Grand Illumination. During the day, galas featuring seasonal music and entertainment will be held at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at DeWitt Wallace Gallery.

After the illumination, fireworks begin at the Capitol, Courthouse and Governor's Palace, and the festivities will continue until 7:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to bypass heavy traffic.

Turn-of-the-century dollhouses and 19th-century German toys will be part of an antique toy exhibit at the Colonial area's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center. Hours for the show, which is open Nov. 25 through Jan. 3, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

"Puttin' Slavin' Aside: Christmas at the Slave Quarter" is the story of how 18th-century African-American residents of Carter's Grove celebrated the holidays. The program will be Dec. 5 and Dec. 26 from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

The story of the Colonial area's first Christmas tree will be told during the lighting of the community Christmas tree Dec. 24 at 5:30 p.m. on Market Square. Other Colonial-area events include: candlelight walking tours and candlelight balls led by 18th-century residents at the Capitol and Governor's Palace. Times and locations of each event vary.

Some programs require reservations and additional admission fees. General daily Colonial-area tickets ($26 for ages 12 and over, $15 for ages 6 to 12, free for children under 6) are necessary for all indoor activities. For information on these events, call 800-HISTORY or visit its Web site at

* Historic holidays at James-town Settlement and Yorktown Victory Centers will be presented during "A Colonial Christmas" celebration Nov. 29 to Jan. 3. At Jamestown Settlement, films, displays and tours will reveal the traditions of not only the English Colonists but also the native Powhatan Indians.

At the Yorktown Victory Center, an Army encampment will be re-created, and interpreters will talk about life in such camps during winter. Demonstrations of 18th-century cooking and candle dipping will be given.

Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center are open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Christmas and New Year's days. Admission to Jamestown, located southwest of Williamsburg on state Route 31: $9.75 for those 13 and older, $4.75 for children 6 to 12, free for children under 6. Admission to Yorktown Victory Center, on old state Route 238: $7.25 for those 13 and older, $3.50 for children 6 to 12, kids under 6 free. Combination tickets for both historical museums are available ($13.50 for those 13 and older, $6.50 kids 6 to 12, free for kids under 6). Call 888-593-4682 or 757-253-4838.

* Just south of Virginia's historical hub, Christmas comes to Smithfield in Isle of Wight County Dec. 5-6. Santa will visit for breakfast, homes can be toured and the Old Towne will be illuminated along with boats on the Pagan River. Hours: 10 a.m. ** to 6 p.m. Dec. 5 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6. Admission: $8. Call 757-357-5182 or 800-365-9339.

* Morven Park in Leesburg opens its historical Greek Revival mansion for a 1920s Christmas Dec. 5-20. The former estate of Gov. and Mrs. Westmoreland Davis will be decked with bows, ribbons, a 16-foot tree and wrapped gifts. Hours: noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission: $6 a person. Call 703-777-2414 or visit

* The 18th-century home of George Mason, Gunston Hall Plantation in Lorton, will celebrate "A Plantation Christmas" with candlelight tours of the mansion, carriage rides and costumed ,, actors re-creating the era from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 11-12. A family holiday buffet will also be offered serving traditional, 18th-century foods such as turkey, ham, potatoes and dressing, in two seatings - at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. each night. Reservations are required. Gunston Hall is at 10709 Gunston Road, directly off Interstate 95 in Lorton. Tickets to the dinner and "A Plantation Christmas" are $21 for adults and $10.50 for children. Tickets for "A Plantation Christmas" only are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $2 children. Call 703-550-9220 or 800-811-6966.


* Nearly a million visitors a year make the pilgrimage to Wheeling's "American Electric Power City of Lights." where more than 250 decorations line the downtown streets through Jan. 17. Lights are on every night from dusk until 11 p.m. Call 304-233-2575 or 800-828-3097.

Also in Wheeling is Oglebay Resort's Festival of Lights, a 6]-mile light display winding through 600 acres of the resort's parkland. Lights are turned on every night from 5:30 to 11. The drive-through tour on the Oglebay grounds, located on state Route 88, continues through Jan. 17. Admission: $5 per vehicle. Call 888-OGLEBAY or visit on the Internet; tour groups call 800-445-2778.

* Eighteenth-century Pricketts Fort, in Pricketts Fort State Park near Fairmont, will be decorated for the holidays and populated by costumed history interpreters on weekends from Nov. 27 through Dec. 13. The nearby Job Prickett House, circa 1860, will be decked in traditional Victoriania. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission: $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, $2.50 for children 6 to 12, children under 6 free. Call 304-363-3030 or 800-CALL-WVA.

* Celebrating the state's Scottish-Irish and German settlers, Salem's Spirit of Christmas in the Mountains provides a glimpse of houses and shops from the 19th century as well as the era's music, food, arts and crafts. The festival takes place weekends from Dec. 5 through Dec. 13 at Fort New Salem, a reconstructed log-house settlement off U.S. Route 50, 12 miles west of Clarksburg. Special food of the season will be available at the Green Tree Tavern, and a candle-trimmed Christmas tree will be lighted at dusk. Hours: 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day. Admission: $5 for adults, $3.50 for students, $1.50 for children 6 to 12, under 6 free. Call 304-782-5245.

* Parkersburg's Blennerhassett Hotel, at Fifth and Market streets, will present its 12th annual Festival of Trees starting Wednesday and continuing through Dec. 4, when the trees will be auctioned off. Area organizations decorate the trees in different themes, including Victorian and NASCAR. Trees can be visited throughout the day; a silent auction and dessert are scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 4 followed by the live auction of the trees at 8:15 p.m. Only admission charge is for the auctions, $15 per person. Call 800-933-2783.

* Three historic coal-baron mansions and the old drugstore will be decorated for holiday tours Dec. 13 in Bramwell. The tour begins at 5 p.m. and is followed by a reception at Margaret's Catering on Main Street. Admission: $8 per person. Call 304-248-7252.


* Koziar's Christmas Village in Bernville marks its 50th anniversary with a holiday fairyland of lights, decorations, food and gifts. Decorated buildings offer tree-trimming ideas, the smell of fresh cookies wafts through the air, trains cross trestles in a miniature town and Santa waits for visitors on Santa Claus Lane. Until Thanksgiving, the village (located off state Route 183) is open Friday through Sunday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; from Thanksgiving to Jan. 1, it will be open Monday through Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission: $5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors, $4 children 6 to 12, children 5 and younger free. Call 610-488-1110.

* Lancaster County has already begun celebrating the season and is chock-full of holiday festivities lasting until year's end. A holiday heritage story about the international celebrations of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child is onstage now through Dec. 30 at the American Music Theatre, on U.S. Route 30 in downtown Lancaster. Admission to "Holiday Treasures": $28 for adults, $14 for children 3 to 17, under 3 free. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday at 3 p.m.; Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. Call 717-397-7700 for reservations.

The Lancaster Museum of Art's annual Trees Galore exhibit features two- and three-dimensional original art by regional artists now through Dec. 13. The museum, 135 N. Lime St. in Lancaster, is open noon to 4 p.m. Sundays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. other days. Admission: Free. Call 717-394-3497.

Historic Rock Ford Plantation will be decked in authentic trimmings during its Yuletide at Rock Ford, Nov. 27-29. An 18th-century meal will be cooked in the fireplace, music and dancing from the era will be presented, and candlelight tours will be given in the evenings. The plantation is located at 881 Rock Ford Road, in West Lampeter's Lancaster County Central Park. Hours: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 27-28 and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 29. Admission: $7 for those 13 and older, $3 for children 6 to 12, under 6 free. Call 717-392-7223.

Village Greens Miniature Golf in Strasburg will transform its 10 acres into a winter wonderland complete with Santa, festive illuminations, ice sculptures, live music and a live Nativity scene. Festivities take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 3-6, Dec. 10-13 and Dec. 17-23. The golf course is located on state Route 741. Admission: $5 for adults, $2 for children 4 to 12, children 3 and younger free. Call 717-687-6933.

Lancaster County's oldest building, the Hans Herr House and Museum, opens its doors for candlelight tours Dec. 4-5. Ox and wagon will take visitors from the Visitor's Center to the house for an hourlong tour of the holiday-bedecked rooms. The Hans Herr House is located in Willow Street at 1749 Hans Herr Drive, five miles south of Lancaster between U.S. Route 222 and state Route 741 and Penn Grant Road. Hours: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Admission: $5 for adults, $1 for children 7 to 12, under 7 free. Call 717-464-4438.

During walking tours of eight historic and decorated homes in Marietta, visitors can see a Civil War encampment, an actor dressed as President Lincoln and Victorian carolers. Tours will be given Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Houses are located throughout the town, which is three miles north of the Marietta exit from U.S. Route 30. Free shuttle-bus service is offered between sites. Admission: $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Call 717-426-1229.

Pennsylvania German homes at the Landis Valley Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road in Manheim, will be decorated in holiday style for a free Dec. 18 tour. Visitors are invited to tour several buildings and join the Lititz Moravian Trombone Choir in carols. Hours: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call 717-569-0401.

* Hersheypark is dressed for its 16th annual Christmas Candylane, now through Jan. 2. More than 1 million lights illuminate the park, where 20 rides are open, and seasonal entertainment sets the mood. Horse-drawn carriage rides are given through the park, and nine live reindeer keep Santa company. The Candylane Twilight Express, a steam-driven locomotive, offers rides through Santa's Magical Forest. The park is located in Hershey at 100 W. Hersheypark Drive, off Pennsylvania Route 743. Holiday park hours vary, so call before going. Admission: free, but rides are on a pay-as-you-go basis. Call 800-HERSHEY.

* The Shops at Bellevue, 200 S. Broad St. in Philadelphia, welcome Santa Clauses from around the world and through the centuries during their "Legend of Santa Through the Ages" festival tomorrow through Dec. 24. Visit with medieval Santa, Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, Pere Noel, Kris Kringle and Old Man Christmas from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission: free. Call 215-875-8350.

Christmas in Fairmount Park is celebrated when nearby garden clubs decorate seven mansions in 18th- and 19th-century fashion. Tours of the mansions - located along the Schuylkill River and maintained by the Philadelphia Museum of Art - are available by car or trolley. Daytime tours can be taken Dec. 4-9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission: $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Daytime trolley tours ($20 a person) are given from 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and depart every 15 minutes from the art museum (26th Street at Benjamin Franklin Parkway) or the Horticultural Center (Belmont and Montgomery avenues).

Candlelight Tours of three of Fairmount Park's houses are offered Dec. 3-6 and Dec. 8. Tours begin at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. A trolley takes visitors on a 2]-hour guided tour of the houses. Departing from the Horticultural Center, the tour includes a light supper with wine. Admission: $35 for nonmembers. Reservations required. Call 215-235-SHOW.

Santa comes to breakfast at Philadelphia's Hard Rock Cafe, 12th and Market streets, the first three Saturdays in December. Breakfast buffets 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. cost $9 per person, children under 2 free. Call 215-238-1000.

* Peddler's Village in Lahaska, Bucks County, kicks off the holiday season with a gingerbread house display Wednesday through Jan. 2 in the Village Gazebo. Houses on display include Victorian, Unusual and Children's, which will compete for more than $5,700 in prizes. Admission: free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The Peddler's Village Grand Illumination will be at dusk Nov. 20 with festivities continuing until 9 p.m. The Peddler's Village Christmas Village opens Dec. 5-6 with a visit from Santa, carols sung by the Christmas Bell Choir and Victorian-garbed carolers, and decorations throughout. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6. Both events are free. Peddler's Village is located on U.S. Route 202 and state Route 263 in Lahaska. Call 215-794-4000.

* Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square will be festooned with 400,000 lights and thousands of poinsettias, tulips, narcissuses, cyclamens and other flowers from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2. A family gathering titled "Home for the Holidays" is depicted in the Conservatory Music Room, and a 16-foot Christmas tree welcomes visitors. The outdoor gardens open at 9 a.m., and the Conservatory at 10 a.m.; both close at 9 p.m. Admission: $12 adults ($8 on Tuesdays), $6 for ages 16-20, $2 for ages 6 to 15, under 6 free. Recorded information is available by calling 800-737-5500 or 610-388-1000 or by visiting

* Historic Gettysburg begins its holiday celebrations Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. when the town's decoration displays are illuminated at 7 p.m. followed by a parade. Both events are free.

Other holiday events include a historic house tour of several private homes Dec. 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., $10 per person. A candlelight tour of the historic Schriver House, 309 Baltimore St., will be held the same night starting at 8 p.m. Reservations are required. Call 717-337-2800 for information on either the historic house or candlelight tours. Tickets: $5 for adults, $3.75 for

children 6 to 12, under 6 free. Call 717-337-2000 for general information.


* The Wilson Warner House in Odessa will be transformed into Peter Pan's Never Neverland during the city's annual Yuletide Tour. Visitors will learn the literary history of the classic story, as well as the social and cultural trends of the era during the Historic Houses of Odessa celebration Tuesday through Dec. 31. Historic Houses of Odessa are located between Wilmington and Dover on Main Street off U.S. Route 13. Admission: $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students 12 and over, $3 for children 5 to 11, free for children 4 and under. Call 302-378-4069.

* Winterthur's 20-room annual holiday tour highlights two Russian-themed vignettes pegged to the current "Nicholas and Alexandra" exhibit in Wilmington. Also included in the program, which runs Nov. 21 to Jan. 3, will be decorating highlights from the tour's past 20 years. Winterthur tours last about 90 minutes and leave every few minutes starting at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon Sunday. Winterthur is six miles from Interstate 95 on state Route 52. Admission: $13 adults, $11 students and seniors, $9 children 5 to 11, free for children under 5. Call 800-448-3883.

* Delaware's Agricultural Museum and Village, located south of Delaware State College on state Route 13, will present its annual holiday festivities Dec. 11-12. Demonstrations of blacksmithing, china making, lace making, quilting, tinsmithing and basket making are scheduled for both days. A children's workshop to make Victorian ornaments will be conducted from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 12. Hours: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 11 and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 12. Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for students and children not yet in school are free. Fee for children's workshop: an additional $5. Call 302-734-1618.

Pub Date: 11/15/98

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