Christmas on the Brazos and Barrington Farm’s Candlelight Christmas

img_0101The historic Christmas traditions of Texas in the 1800s will transport visitors into the past at the Christmas on the Brazos celebration at the Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site – the very spot “Where Texas Became Texas” – on Saturday, Dec. 10,.  No-cost and low-cost holiday activities for all ages include period music, craft making, readings, food samplings and sale of artisan gifts.  The day culminates in the park’s popular Candlelight Christmas event at Barrington Living History Farm, featuring vignettes of Texian frontier festivities with music, musket firing, dancing, and a candlelit tour of the farm.

Many holiday activities occur throughout the day and are staggered throughout the park, including:

An Afternoon with Dickens: 1pm and 3pm (Independence Hall) – Staff dressed in period clothing will be regaling visitors with tales of Olde Time Christmas, as told by the great author, Charles Dickens.

Christmas Lore and Traditions: 4pm (Independence Hall) – History is not only about battles, dates, and names, but also touches on the special times in peoples’ lives, and Christmas is one of those very special times. This program discovers how people embraced the holidays in early Texas, and which of our present-day holiday traditions came from back then.

The Star of the Republic Museum will host “make-and-take” period crafts from 11am to 3pm (regular admission fees; no charge for the crafts); museum open during regular business hours from 10am to 5pm.

img_0062The site’s Visitor Center and Washington Emporium Gift Shop will be open from 9:30am – 7pm and will feature merchandise from Texas artisans, with tastings and samplings of some local fare; family friendly activities; and a self-serve photo opportunity with Santa.

Barrington Living History Farm will be open from noon until 3pm. and then will reopen at 5pm for its Candlelight Christmas event that starts at 5:30pm and lasts until 9pm (with the last tour leaving at 8pm).  Regular admission fees will apply.

Candlelight Christmas at Barrington Farm welcomes its guests into the 1850s and fills their senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of yesteryear against the backdrop of a star-filled night sky: smoke and flames from the wood fireplace and bonfire in the field; flickering lanterns and candlelit paths; and gunfire and cheers from a rowdy band of Texian revelers. The evening includes a tour of the historic home of the last president of the Republic of Texas, Dr. Anson Jones, as interpreters recreate how that family would have enjoyed Christmas, including an 1850s Santa. The slave quarters will also be decorated in typical style for the 1850s. Each tour culminates in a barn dance where visitors are welcome to join in.

The Candlelight Christmas evening event consists of guided tours for small groups that each last approximately an hour, with tours offered at timed intervals starting at 5:30pm; the last tour leaves at 8pm. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Walk-ins are welcome if space permits. Regular admission fees will apply for the park’s attractions. Visitors should dress appropriately for the weather and uneven walking surfaces since the event will take place throughout the farm.

img_0049Christmas on the Brazos and Candlelight Christmas will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, at Washington on the Brazos State Historical Park, located at 23400 Park Road 12, Washington, TX, 77880—approximately halfway between Brenham and Navasota, off State Hwy. 105. From Hwy. 105, follow either FM 912 or FM 1155 to Park Road 12.  Visitors are welcome to bring food and drink into the park, but no glass bottles or alcoholic beverages are allowed. As always, there are no fees for parking.

Leashed pets are allowed in park, but are NOT allowed onto farm site or inside buildings. Sites are accessible for the mobility impaired. The park grounds open at 8am and close at 10pm, after the evening event.

This Christmas event is sponsored by TPWD, Star of the Republic Museum/Blinn College and Washington on the Brazos State Park Association. The public can contact office@wheretexasbecametexas.org or

Call (936) 878-2214 for more information.  For more information on Candlelight Christmas or to make reservations, contact (936) 878-2214 ext. 246 or barrington.farm@tpwd.texas.gov.