Chief Vann House will host its annual Candlelight Tours on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 from 5-9 p.m.
See the historical house decked with boughs, bows, greenery, and decorations inspired by a 19th century Moravian Christmas celebration.
Visitors attending the event will tour the lovingly decorated house by candlelight while listening to live music, sponsored by the Friends of the Chief Vann House.
Guests are asked to arrive by 8 p.m. to fully enjoy the holiday experience.
This annual event celebrates the many Christmases hosted by the Moravian missionaries who operated the western-style school (sponsored by the Vann family) for Cherokee children from 1800 until 1835. It is likely the missionaries were hosting the first formal Christmas celebration within the Cherokee Nation.
In the early 1800s, the Moravians at the Springplace Mission recorded that their Christmas service was one of the most well-attended services of the whole year. Traditional gifts were often paper scrolls with beautifully scripted Bible verses inside a painted wreath border, and a small candle for each service attendee. A traditional Moravian Christmas is often accompanied by a “Lovefeast” and “Singstunde” wherein the merriment was singing, praying, and the sharing of food and drink. To honor this practice, we will also be serving a traditional holiday snack, spiced apple cider and Moravian ginger cookies inside our Vann Kitchen/Workhouse cabin exhibit.
If you already have plans for that weekend, you can still enjoy the hand-collected greenery, nativity scenes, and all the ornaments in between during regular operating hours until December 24. The candles will only be lit during the Candlelight Tours event. This event will be held rain or snow.
Starting in December, the museum will reduce its hours for winter. From December until April, the site will be open Thursday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with guided tours hosted on the hour. Last tour of the day always begins at 4 p.m. The Vann House will be closed the days of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Candlelight Tours admission: $7 per person
Regular hours: Thursday-Saturday 9-5, Sunday 1-5. December-March: Closed on Sunday.
Last tour of the day always begins at 4 p.m.