This year, the Annual Christmas at the Carter Mansion will be held Friday and Saturday. That is when those with reservations made at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park may join Col. John Carter, the Carter family, and all their friends for a glimpse into simpler time, when Christmas was the grandest celebration of the entire year.
Those who organize the annual visit said that in Colonial America, the Christmas season was celebrated as a monthlong array of merriment and festivities signaled by caroling, feasting, dances, fox hunts and the firing of Christmas guns. Christmas on the frontier would have been much different though, with only the simplest of pleasures being offered by the humble backwoods settlers.
Although the Carter Family lived on the frontier, their Christmas celebration was far from simple or humble. They displayed an opulence only seen in the finest homes of Williamsburg or Philadelphia.
Visitors with reservations may spend a candlelit evening in the oldest frame house in Tennessee, decorated with bright greenery for the holidays. They will enjoy music, hot cider, and 18th century interpreters who will transport the visitors to a Colonial American Christmas.
The tours are by reservation only and a new tour starts every 20 minutes, starting at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The last tour each evening begins at 8:40. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for students ages 7 to 17 and free for children age 6 and under.
The mansion is located at 1031 Broad St.
For more information about reservations, call Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park at 423-543-5808.