With the ambiance of an old-world Christmas, Frederick, Maryland, provides the charm only a Southern city can bring this time of year. At no other time does Frederick’s hospitality shine as it does during the holiday season as they open their doors, hearts, and talents to their neighbors. Here are five ways Frederick shines brightly at Christmas.
CANDLELIGHT HOUSE TOUR
For one weekend in December, some of the most beautiful Frederick homes open their doors for the Candlelight House Tour. Eight private homes are featured in the 2016 tour, including a home constructed in 1820 and a townhouse built in 1844. Visitors are taken back in time as they explore each home decorated in all the splendor of a Southern Christmas. The self-guided tours allow a glimpse into Frederick’s historical homes that isn’t offered throughout the year. Guests are invited to stop in for a cup of hot chocolate or apple cider at the event’s Hospitality Center, this year located at the William R. Talley Recreation Center.
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
The Festival of Lights got started more than thirty years ago when one Frederick woman, Julia Hanna, worried that people were forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. Channeling Christmases of the past, Hanna asked others in the community to light white candles in their windows. The old-fashioned gesture grew to include caroling, a Christmas message, and a special candle lighting ceremony that now takes place at the City Hall Courtyard.
SCENTS AND SMELLS COMPETITION
What’s Christmas without a little baking and decorating? At the Scents and Sweets Competition, the best bakers and florists in Frederick compete in the areas of gingerbread structures and floral arrangements. Amateurs, professionals, and even the youngest gingerbread house enthusiasts bring their best to display during the Candlelight House Tour. The voting begins December 1, but a few pieces are available to bid on through a silent auction that lasts through the first weekend.
FESTIVAL OF TREES
If you happen to miss the Candlelight House Tour, make sure to stop by the Historical Society of Frederick County to catch the Festival of Trees. The historic house was built in 1820, and at Christmas the Historical Society goes all out with a little help from the community. Individuals, businesses, and nonprofits decorate Christmas trees to display for the annual Festival of Trees. Guests are welcome to view the trees for free during working hours, and are invited to cast their vote for a dollar.
SHOPPING HISTORIC FREDERICK
It’s hard to list things to do in Frederick during the holidays without at least a nod to Christmas shopping. ’Tis the season to give, and the city gives back by supporting the businesses that call Frederick home. The holiday shopping season kicks off the day after Thanksgiving with Frosty Friday. Forget Black Friday, this day sponsored by the Downtown Frederick Partnership includes special holiday hours for downtown businesses, free cocoa and s’mores, live music, carolers and carriage rides. After Frosty Friday comes Eat, Shop & Be Merry, the theme for the Saturdays in December leading up to Christmas. Live music and cocoa commence with a little something extra each week.
SEE MORE CHRISTMAS IN FREDERICK PHOTOS HERE