Conner Prairie by Candlelight returns to Prairietown in December 

Interpreter Sandy Horner takes Conner Prairie by Candlelight attendees through Prairietown. (Submitted photo)

Interpreter Sandy Horner takes Conner Prairie by Candlelight attendees through Prairietown. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

Despite nearing the end of 2016, Conner Prairie’s characters in Prairietown are stuck in time on Dec. 24, 1836 as they walk by candlelight.

The Prairietown performances will take place Dec. 2, Dec. 3, Dec. 9, Dec. 10, Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. Walks begin at 6 p.m. and continue every 12 minutes until 9 p.m. Tours last 90 minutes.

“When people come through Prairietown, the characters they meet are all in that moment in time of Dec. 24, 1836, and they meet all these different people who have a different perspective on how Christmas and Dec. 25 were looked at and celebrated or not,” said Catherine Hughes, director of interpretation and evaluation. “It depended on who you were at that time and what tradition you were bringing to Indiana. Some of our characters are from upstate New York, so they know about Washington Irving and the knickerbocker tradition. They’re following those ideas.”

Conner Prairie by Candlelight costs $16 for adults or $14 for members, and $13 for youth or $11 for members.

There will be other characters in 1836 Prairietown who don’t celebrate Christmas at all and educate attendees on other traditions, such as Chanukah.

“This year we have a new character we are introducing who is bringing in an entirely different perspective, and that is a woman who represents the history of the Roberts settlement,” Hughes said. “This woman is going to be at the schoolhouse because she is intent on finding out how the schoolhouse is set up so she can go back to the Roberts settlement and be part of setting up their first school.”

The program is recommended for children ages 7 or older due to the set schedule of the tour.

“Candlelight is really for older kids,” Hughes said. “Our Holiday Adventures takes place during the day and is really for our family audience because you can pick and choose who you want to meet and how long you want to stay.”

Conner Prairie by Candlelight has been a winter program for more than 30 years. Registration is required and may be made at or by calling 317-776-6000.

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