LUBBOCK, Texas — The National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) in Lubbock will host its 44th Annual Candlelight at the Ranch on Friday, December 9th and Saturday, December 10th.

According to a press release from the NRHC and Texas Tech University, visitors can celebrate a frontier Christmas from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. both evenings.

The event is free to the public with a suggested minimum $5 donation per family, the NRHC said.

“This year we’ve had more volunteer sign-ups than ever before,” said Julie Hodges, NRHC Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Director of Education in the press release. “More than 200 community volunteers – many dressed in period clothing – will help recreate what Christmas might have been like on the open prairie during frontier days. Candlelight at the Ranch would be impossible without them!”

In addition to individual volunteers, many community and campus organizations as well as musical groups will welcome guests to the event.

“Pioneer ranches had no electricity, so we try to take each of our historic structures back to what it would have looked like at Christmas in its own time,” Hodges said in the press release.

In addition to more than 5,000 luminaries lining the paths of the 19-acre historic park, holiday scenes created in the historic structures will be lit as much as possible with lanterns, fireplaces and campfires.

Santa Claus will be located in the Pitchfork Pavilion but will leave promptly at 9:30 p.m. 

Below is a cheat sheet of what events are being held at each location that was provided to by the NRHC.

Main BuildingSelf Service Photobooth, Candlelight Information table, Cogdell’s General Store – Out front Boomarang BBQ Truck and CowTrail Christmas lights in Gibson Park
Pitchfork PavilionSanta Claus  & West Texas Children’s Chorus
PatioJust Dunn Poppin’ Kettle Korn, Choirs rotating
6666 BarnLive Music by Brazos West, Hot Cocoa/Cider Sales
Los Corralitos, 1780Spanish Songs – (Lead host is Ana Torres)
El Capote, 1836Cooking over fire, handwork, etc. (Henry Crawford, Lewis Neely)
Hedwig’s Hill, 1855Seminole Boys Choir Singing German Carols – Living History in kitchen Saturday Night with Dahlstrom Family
Jowell House, 1873Family Christmas, decorating tree, reading, tending fire, churning butter, etc.  (Cindy Brashears, Mansell Lusk)
Matador Half-Dugout, 1880Cowboy music, planning, talking, singing, etc. (Terry Farhlander is lead host)
Box and Strip, 1910Family Christmas, children playing, decorating tree, reading, sewing, etc. Cullin Family and Donna Pharies
Schoolhouse, 1893Crestview Elementary 1st Grade – Mrs. Wimberley teaching, Christmas pageant, singing, math, reading, writing, etc. (Musuem Science students are fire tending for this structure)
Harrell House, 1910Family Christmas, playing organ, singing, sewing, decorating tree, crafts, baking cookies (Amy Pope is lead host)
JY Bunkhouse, 1880Cowboy carving, leatherwork (John Levacy is Lead Host
Las Escarbadas, 1890Cowboy Christmas party, drinking coffee, Ranch Host Dancers (Jack Mitchell is lead Host)
In Grassy Area near Las Escarbadas Cowboy Camp – 2 Chuck wagons
Barton House, 1909Christmas party, quilting, men in parlor, planning town, family making gingerbread house, decorating tree, playing piano, games, etc. Carol McDonald is lead host
Ropes Depot, 1920Waiting on train, carols, games, decorating tree, reading, stringing popcorn, etc.  Elizabeth Anderson is lead host
Pitchfork Cookhouse, 19501950’s Cowboy Christmas, decorating cupcakes, playing cards, talking, etc.  Garry and Donna Wright are lead hosts
Trinity Mission Canterbury Ministries will be recreating a church service, music – singing and organ. Rev. Leann Wigner is lead.

For more information, you can visit the National Ranching Heritage Center’s website.