50th Annual Holiday Candlelight Tour

Golden Anniversary Tour

The entire month of December!

With potential pop-up celebrations on Saturday & Sunday—December 12 – 13, 2020

Preparations are underway for this exciting annual event!

Take a picturesque stroll or a relaxing drive down the historic streets of Fredericksburg. Enjoy an audio tour, featuring specific houses and neighborhoods, using your mobile phone.

Guests can tour at a time that is convenient for them the month of December. Go on a sunny day or wait for those fluffy snowflakes to fall, as you learn about historic homes that will have exteriors decorated for the holidays. Lights, wreaths, a tree in the window, garland, and other festive and creative decor – imagine walking around Fredericksburg in this extra festive environment. The tour will also include photos and a narrated history.

Although we will not be conducting tours inside of homes this year, there are plenty of stories to share about our town and architecture! We are excited to celebrate 50 years of Candlelight Tour in this safe and modified format. At a time when we all crave community but can’t be together, this is the perfect opportunity to experience holiday cheer.

Go to HFFI.org/shop to pay HFFI a modest fee to access tour content. Note, this is currently not available for purchase, but will be closer to the tour.

2019
Candlelight Tour Sponsors

 

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2019 Holiday Ornament

Modeled after the wrought iron newel post from the railing in front of 1310 Caroline Street.

Ornaments are available in our Shop.

Learn more about being a 2020 Candlelight Tour Sponsor

EVENT DETAILS

Although the pandemic will not allow us to conduct the event as we typically do, we want to provide a safe tour in a socially distanced way by featuring the exterior of houses in Fredericksburg. Guests will not go inside houses, but rather walk by to enjoy the outside decorations and appreciate the architecture.

Your ticket purchase gains you access to a mobile app audio tour. The map on your mobile device will highlight locations around town decorated for the holidays. It will also indicate which of these properties has audio clips, historic photos, and property summaries to read.

Go on the tour anytime in the month of December! The audio tour will be available in December only. This allows for social distancing and self-pacing. Want to stop for a coffee or lunch? Feel free and then continue on the tour!

Depending on the pandemic, we may have potential pop-up celebrations on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2020 with cookies and cider, entertainment, and vendors outside.

We are currently reaching out to property owners to ask if they want to participate by decorating the exterior of their homes. Invitations have been sent to properties with HFFI research already completed. Our community has come together for 50 years to make this tour happen, so we are hopeful for a big response!


TICKETS

Purchase tickets through our website at HFFI.org/shop

Tickets are not available yet, but will be later this fall.

Ticket price TBD.

After you purchase your ticket, you will receive instructions on downloading an app and entering a unique code in order to access the content. Content may also be available through a secured web page if you prefer not to download an app.

Are you a Supporting Level Member of HFFI or higher? If so, you receive complimentary tickets with your membership. Your comp tickets will still be honored so you can access this tour for free.

Please Note: Candlelight Tour tickets are non-refundable.


PARKING

Along with nearby street parking, please see the City Parking Map for additional parking lot options.


CANDLELIGHT TOUR GIFT SHOP

For Candlelight Tour related items, please visit our online store. We are selling our recently published Homes for the Holidays: Historic Fredericksburg’s Candlelight Tradition book, as well as commemorative ornaments from past tours. A potential pop-up gift shop might be available on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday December 13.

Interested in being a Sponsor? Click here.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where do the proceeds from the tour go?

The proceeds of the Candlelight Tour fund the programs and projects of the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc., a non-profit membership organization that has worked to protect the historic and cultural resources of the Fredericksburg area since 1955.

The mission of the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc., is to preserve, protect, and revitalize the distinctive historic environment and cultural resources of the Fredericksburg area. The Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc., accomplishes this mission through education, advocacy and financial resources.

What houses are on the tour this year?

Locations for the 2020 tour are to be determined.

Interested in your house being on the tour? Contact [email protected]

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code for the tour, but we ask that you please do not wear high heal shoes as these may damage the floors within the homes.

Otherwise feel free to dress comfortably and in accordance with the weather.

What time is the tour?

Candlelight day tours are conducted on Saturday and Sunday, December 14 & 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you purchase an evening tour ticket, you can also attend the evening tour on Saturday, December 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

All tickets include a tour of each home, a keepsake tour booklet, and complimentary cookie with cider at the Gift Shop.

What is the Saturday Evening Tour and Cocktail Party?

The Evening Tour and Cocktail Party is a fun way to make a special evening event out of this annual holiday tour. A limited number of tickets are sold, so lines to see the homes are shorter, candlelight illuminates the walkway to the homes, and the cocktail party is a great way to celebrate the holidays with friends and support local preservation.

The evening tour is conducted on Saturday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The evening tour includes a tour of each of the properties as well as a Cocktail Party from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Tickets can only be purchased in advance of the tour either by mail, online, or at the HFFI office in the Lewis Store, 1200 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg from 12 to 3pm on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

Is there additional entertainment on the days of the tour?

Holiday entertainment will be in the neighborhood of the tour. Is your group interested in performing? Contact [email protected]

Where can I buy tickets for the tour?

Tickets can be purchased in advance of the tour online or at the HFFI office in the Lewis Store, 1200 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg from 12 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center and Spotsylvania Visitor Center during their normal operating hours. Only non-member, daytime tour tickets are available at those locations. HFFI member tickets and evening tickets must be purchased directly from HFFI.

On the days of the tour, tickets will be available at the Candlelight Tour Gift Shop if we haven’t sold out.

Tickets will NOT be sold at the individual houses.

Do I have to choose either Saturday or Sunday?

Not at all! Your tour ticket allows you to see each house one time—that can either be on Saturday or Sunday. See them all in one day or split them between the two and enjoy a whole weekend in downtown Fredericksburg!

What if it rains or snows?

The tour will continue as scheduled even if it is raining or snowing. If there is precipitation outside, plastic covers will be provided to enclose your umbrella while within the home. Safety is our number one concern, so if conditions are too poor (such as slippery steps) then houses will be closed if needed. All sales are final, so please pay attention to the weather and plan accordingly as to when to attend.

How long will I have to wait in line for each house?

Depending on the number of attendees, the wait times for touring each home could be short or long. Visiting the homes during off-peak hours could shorten your wait time considerably. The busiest time for visiting the homes is on Saturday afternoon from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Since these are private homes, all tours within the homes are guided and the number of persons entering a home at a time will be limited due to physical space within the home.

Can I take pictures or video?

Taking pictures and video recording are not allowed inside the tour homes for any reason. Photos/video of the exterior of the homes are okay, but never the inside.

Basic tips about the tour.

No food or drink is permitted within buildings. Beverages will have to be left outside and retrieved upon exiting the home.

Any type of wheelchair or mobile assistance will have to be left outside and retrieved upon exiting the home.

Children under age 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

If there are runners on the floors inside the homes, please try to stay on them. We are trying to protect the floors for our generous homeowners.

2018 Candlelight Tour Sponsorships