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National Ranching Heritage Center Will Host 43rd Annual Candlelight at the Ranch

The 1908 Barton House has become one of the most popular attractions for Candlelight at the...
The 1908 Barton House has become one of the most popular attractions for Candlelight at the Ranch visitors during four decades of celebrating a pioneer Christmas. The National Ranching Heritage Center will host the annual family-friendly event from 6:30 to 9 p.m. December 10 and 11.(Photo by Shelby Schwartz)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 4:05 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2021 at 2:04 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - Candlelight at the Ranch has always been about celebrating a frontier Christmas, but four generations of volunteers in 43 years have made this event a Lubbock tradition as visitors gather for a pioneer Christmas from 6:30 to 9 p.m. December 10 and 11 at the National Ranching Heritage Center.

“We depend on about 200 community volunteers—many of them dressed in period clothing—to help create what Christmas might have been like on ranches dating from 1780 to 1950,” explained Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Director of Education Julie Hodges.

“The holiday scenes in our historic structures will be lit as much as possible with only lanterns, fireplaces and campfires,” Hodges said, “but some of our structures were built when ranchers could access electricity. We will decorate and provide the lighting most appropriate for that structure in its time. We’ll also provide more than 5,000 luminaries to cover 1.5 miles of pathway in the historic park.”

To avoid long lines, Candlelight uses an “open range” concept that allows visitors to choose in what order they view the historic structures and what path they take through the 19-acre historic park. Pathways are wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Visitors who come on Friday night will have the added advantage of walking to the nearby Texas Tech International Cultural Center from 5:30 to 7:30 to participate in Weihnachtsfest, a Celebration of German Holiday Traditions. Both events are family-friendly, free and open to the public. The ICC is located at 601 Indiana Ave. within walking distance of the NRHC.

Many community and campus organizations as well as musical groups will welcome guests to Candlelight at the Ranch. Visitors can purchase refreshments in the decorated 1908 Four Sixes Barn while they listen to Brazos West play Christmas music with a Texas swing. Kettle Korn will be available on the patio, and Santa Claus will be receiving visitors in the Pitchfork Pavilion. He will, however, leave promptly at 9:30 p.m.

The Rhinestone Quartet and the Lubbock High School Madrigal Choir will serenade visitors at different locations throughout the park, and Ranch Host volunteer Ken Baake will play his banjo inside the 1888 Matador Half Dugout. A Tap Snap Photo booth will be located in the main gallery of the indoor museum to provide free visitor photos.

The NRHC is located adjacent to the Texas Tech University campus at 3121 Fourth St. Candlelight at the Ranch is free to the public with a minimum suggested $5 donation per family. For more information, call (806) 742-0498 or view ranchingheritage.org.

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