Christmas by Candlelight Tour canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Home for the Holidays

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) canceled this year’s Christmas by Candlelight Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department is offering opportunities for the public to enjoy holiday decorations at several sites.

Mississippi Governor’s Mansion 

The historic section of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, decorated in traditional holiday style by Scott Reed and Petal Pushers of West Point, will open for tours from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, December 4–5, and Monday–Wednesday, December 7–9. Tours will take place every half-hour and reservations must be made in advance through Eventbrite. As a precaution, a maximum of ten visitors per time slot will be allowed in the mansion and face coverings will be required.

This year’s theme, “Christmas at the Mansion: Honoring those on the Front Lines,” pays tribute to our first responders and frontline workers. First Lady Elee Reeves is encouraging the public to write thank you notes to those who have provided essential care, protection, and service to our state throughout this year. 

Old Capitol Museum 

The first floor of the Old Capitol Museum will open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, December 4–5, and Monday–Wednesday, December 7–9. Enjoy holiday music and archival video footage in the rotunda. A scavenger hunt for children will be offered. Garlands will suspend from the rotunda railing on the second floor. The exterior of the building will be decorated with wreaths. Several Christmas trees will stand in the rotunda and candles will be placed in some of the building’s windows. Face coverings required. 

Mississippi State Capitol 

The Mississippi State Capitol will open throughout December Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A twenty-foot Christmas tree spanning up to the second floor will delight all upon entry. Festive greenery will adorn the cast-iron balustrades with red poinsettias along the grand staircase. The Capitol will close on Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25, and Thursday, December 31. Face coverings required. 

Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum 

The Possum Ridge model train exhibit will be on display at the Two Mississippi Museums through December. Regular museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The museums are open free of charge on Sundays from noon – 4:00 p.m. Safety precautions at museums include requiring all visitors to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines. The museums will close on Christmas Day, December 25. 

Eudora Welty House & Garden 

Eudora Welty House & Garden tours take place 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m., Tuesday–Friday, and 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Purchase tickets by phone at 601-353-7762 or by email info@eudoraweltyhouse.com. The museum will close on Christmas day, December 25. 

William F. Winter Archives and History Building 

The state archives will close November 26–28, December 24–December 26, and December–January 1. Due to safety precautions for COVID-19, appointments are recommended for research in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. Available appointment times are Monday–Friday at 9–11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., and 2–4 p.m.  all 601-576-6837 to schedule your time. Patrons without an appointment will be accommodated as space allows. Appointment times for Saturdays will be 8:15–10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

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