Visitors to the Gov. Charles B. Aycock Birthplace in Fremont can celebrate the holidays in a special way — with old-fashioned Christmas Candlelight tours.
They will be held Dec. 4 and 6 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $2 for ages 5 and older, with children 4 and younger free.
Both nights, costumed interpreters will explain common rural Christmas traditions, and will also demonstrate open hearth cooking.
The Harmony Boys of Mount Olive will perform Dec. 4.
Dec. 6 will feature a variety of hands-on crafts.
Visitors can also help present an old-fashioned shadow play in the 1893 one-room schoolhouse at Aycock Birthplace. Using cardboard cutouts and making animal sounds, they will dramatize a Christmas story being read by a costumed volunteer, said Leigh Strickland, site manager.
She said in the master bedroom of the historic house, a costumed interpreter will explain how men prepared their families for Christmas.
In the parlor, an interpreter will talk about seasonal traditions, such as hanging stockings by the fireplace and making homemade decorations for the tree.
“Our 19th century culinary expert will be preparing traditional holiday dishes over a roaring fire in the kitchen,” Strickland said. “The heavily laden table in the dining room will display the various meats, collards, biscuits and plum pudding that might have been served for the Aycocks’ holiday meal. Even though we cannot serve the food to our guests, samples of tasty hot apple cider will be offered at the end of the tour.”
Joshua Dacey, programs coordinator at the historic site, said Aycock Birthplace does the candlelight tours each year to give people in the community a place to go and experience the history of Christmas.
“It’s a constantly evolving holiday, and we want to show people what Christmas was back then, and hopefully they will enjoy it,” he said.
Aycock Birthplace is a mid-19th century farmstead that includes a house, kitchen, garden and farm animals. The house and kitchen are furnished with period pieces.
For more information about Christmas Candlelight tours at Aycock Birthplace, call the site at 919-242-5581.