National Ranching Heritage Center to celebrate 40th Annual Candlelight at the Ranch

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Candlelight at the Ranch Photo - 720

The following is a news release from the NRHC:

What began four decades ago with a few hundred visitors now attracts thousands of area residents as the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) at Texas Tech University celebrates its 40th Annual Candlelight at the Ranch from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15.

“Because this is the 40th anniversary of what has become our signature event, this year we’re adding a little more sparkle,” explained Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Director of Education Julie Hodges, coordinator of the event.

Despite providing more lights and sparkle, holiday scenes created in the center’s historic structures will be lit as much as possible with only lanterns, fireplaces and campfires. “Pioneer ranches had no electricity,” Hodges said. “We want our visitors to celebrate Christmas as it might have been on the open prairie in frontier days.”

In addition to more than 4,000 luminarias that will line the paths of the historic park, lights will outline the museum building, the roofline of the 6666 Barn, the stone sign on the Marsha Sharp Freeway and the Fourth Street front gate leading into the NRHC.

Thanks to the help of Holland Gardens in Lubbock, the center has been able to convert all the Christmas lighting to LED bulbs, and the savings in reduced energy will allow this year’s event to include more lights than any previous Candlelight. The lighted pathways will be wheelchair and stroller accessible as visitors pass cowboys camped out with their horses and brewing coffee over a chuck wagon fire.

With the help of more than 150 volunteers each night-many dressed in period clothing-holiday scenes will be recreated in 14 historic structures such as the 1838 El Capote Log Cabin, the 1886 Las Escarbadas XIT division headquarters, the 1888 Matador Half-Dugout and the 1909 Queen-Anne style Barton House. Santa Claus will be available to visit with children in the Pitchfork Pavilion.

Brazos West will provide live music in the historic 1908 Four Sixes Barn where visitors can purchase hot cocoa, cider and cookies. Street Sweets Food Truck will sell hot drinks and kettle corn near the XIT headquarters, and more kettle corn and drinks will be for sale on the patio while members of the Lubbock High School Madrigal Choir serenade visitors with Christmas carols.

The NRHC is located at 3121 Fourth Street and the ICC is at 601 Indiana Ave.

NOTE: The event was rescheduled from December 7-8 due to inclement weather. 

(News release from the National Ranching Heritage Center)

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