Come to Barkerville a fortnight before Christmas and “hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing, ring ting tingle-ing too….” through the snowy streets of British Columbia’s Gold Rush Town.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 13-15, Barkerville is open – admission is by donation (either monetary or a non-perishable food item for the Wells Legion holiday hamper program) – and the National Historic Site will be bustling with special events and activities for yuletide revellers looking to experience some wintertime magic, nestled under an elegant blanket of white.
“Barkerville in December is a totally unique holiday destination,” says Ed Coleman, Barkerville’s chief executive officer.
“With our onsite bed and breakfasts booking overnight stays for the weekend, families and friends can experience a one-of-a-kind immersive stay in a truly historic setting.”
Daytime guests can sip some tasty apple cider while shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts and carefully crafted Christmas decorations at the Mason and Daly General Merchants, C. Strouss & Company Dry Goods, and McPherson’s Watchmakers and Jewelry Store. The Cameron and Ames Blacksmith Shop will be offering hand-forged treasures and lumps of coal for those with unusual “naughty and nice” lists to consider, and McMahon’s Confectionary is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of the most carefully hung stocking.
The Goldfield Bakery will have soup and sandwiches for lunch, as well as traditional 1930s Christmas goodies to take home, and a stop by the Wendle House is sure to whet the appetite with an atmosphere of traditional Victorian cookery and fireside conversation.
Visitors are encouraged to wander among a variety of Barkerville’s beautiful museum displays, take a history-filled guided tour of the main street, attend Sunday services at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, and have a photo taken with Father Christmas in the “Enchanted Forest.”
The Hanson Family, an award-winning singing group from Oregon and popular draw at Barkerville’s annual Cowboy and Drover Jubilee, will perform a special concert of traditional Christmas carols at 1 p.m. every day at the Methodist Church.”
The beautiful harmonies and vocal arrangements of the Hanson Family have gained them recognition in the music world, as well as the honour of winning, among other awards, the 2014 Western Music Association’s Crescendo Award, the 2013 Kamloops Cowboy Festival’s “Rising Star Showcase,” the 2006 Western Music Association Marilyn Tuttle “Best of the Best” harmony award, and the 2005 WMA “Youth Yodeller of the Year.”
They have entertained at the Alaska State Fair, Pendleton Roundup, Paramount Theater in Seattle, New York City Center Theater in New York, and hundreds of other events and venues across the United States and Canada (www.hansonfamilymusic.com).
Admission for The Hanson Family Christmas concert is a suggested donation of $5 (or more) per person, all seats. Space in the Methodist Church is limited, and interested guests should plan to come early.
For more information on Barkerville’s Old-Fashioned Victorian Christmas, contact Judy Mooring at 1-888-994-3332, ext. 29 or visit www.barkerville.ca/events.htm.