Experience the Annual Candlelight at the Texas Tech Ranching Heritage Center

Texas Tech University’s National Ranching Heritage Center hosts the 33rd Annual Candlelight at the Ranch celebration from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 9-10. The center’s holiday event offers a glimpse into the past, as visitors experience yuletide celebrations that happened on the open prairie more than 100 years ago.

Luminarias light the paths around the center’s historic structures where ranch volunteers recreate holiday scenes of trimming trees with homemade decorations, playing traditional music and gathering around the campfire. About 8,000 people annually attend the free event though a donation of $2 per family is appreciated.

“The sounds of the season will greet visitors as they walk through the park,” said Emily Arellano, Candlelight at the Ranch coordinator. “Carolers will be located in several buildings singing music that is appropriate to the specific structure they are located in. For example, Spanish lullabies will be sung at Los Corralitos, a lone rancher will sing in the 80 John Wallace House, and a fiddle band will be playing for dancers in Las Escarbadas.”

 Through a partnership with the Southcrest Baptist Church and Christian School, the center incorporates music into every traditional feature of the event. A chorus will entertain visitors in the Pitchfork Pavilion, a bell choir and harp will be in the main building and music will play in the 6666 Barn while carolers will sing along the paths.

In the barn, children also will be able to write a letter to Santa and mail it in the authentic post office set up for the occasion. Hot chocolate and cider are available for purchase along with complimentary candy canes.

The newly remodeled Cogdell’s Store at the National Ranching Heritage Center will be open for shoppers in search of unique gift items. The center is located at 3121 Fourth St. For more information please visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/ranchhc/.

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 CONTACT: Emily Arellano, candlelight at the ranch coordinator, National Ranching Heritage Center, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-0498 or emily.arellano@ttu.edu.