Frontier Christmas lights up Crab Orchard Museum - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Frontier Christmas lights up Crab Orchard Museum


Tazewell, VA—Bundle the family into the one-horse open sleigh for Frontier Christmas at Crab Orchard Museum in Tazewell, VA, which showcases holiday traditions from the 1800s, including bonfires, caroling, storytelling, live music, hot cider and homemade cookies on Friday, December 5th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. “Frontier Christmas kicks off the holiday season for many families, a tradition we hold every year to remember Christmases past and celebrate Christmas present,” says Charlotte Whitted, Executive Director. The museum welcomes visitors to begin the holiday season the old-fashioned way, with free admission to the festively decorated Museum Center and Pioneer Park cabins, as well as the Frog Level Service Station and the Cottage at Crab Orchard. In the spirit of giving, the museum asks visitors to bring a can of food for A Child Shall Lead Them Food Pantry instead.

This year volunteers and museum supporters are donating 95 dozen home baked cookies, to make sure there are plenty for everyone. “We want to make sure every visitor has an authentic, memorable and delicious holiday experience at Crab Orchard Museum.”

“It's a great chance to see our Beyond the Battlefield: Camp Life, Home Life and The Aftermath of Civil War exhibit, shop for unique, handcrafted Christmas presents in our Gift Shop (20% off all non-consignment items!), let the kids roll beeswax candles, hear songs of the season by a cabin fire and tell Santa your fondest Christmas wish too.” Visitors may wander around the museum and Pioneer Park following the luminaries at their own pace, lingering in a cabin or moving along as they wish, and stay as little or as long as they like during the event.

This year the Frog Level Service Station will be open to visitors, decorated in its holiday finery. Stop in for an old-fashioned glass-bottled soda pop at the counter and show the kids how to pop the cap with a bottle opener. The drawing will be held at 9:00 p.m. at the end of Frontier Christmas. You do not have to be present to win.

Museum membership will be a central focus of the event again this year, with a 10% discount off any level of membership for new members joining between 6 and 9 p.m. This offer applies also to gift memberships purchased for those on your Christmas list. “Joining the membership is like joining the museum's family,” says Whitted. “We also have the new 15-15-15 benefit for members, offering a 15% discount in the Gift Shop, at the Cottage at Crab Orchard and at Fisher & Company.”

Members and donors are more important than ever. “The museum has completed several capital projects with grant funds, but continues to need annual operating gifts. Memberships and donations keep the bills paid, admission affordable to all and the doors open. Only generous community support keeps the organization going, allowing us to offer programs like Frontier Christmas without a charge.”

Frontier Christmas activities, demonstrations and entertainment scheduled include:

Daniel-Murray Homestead: Singing by the Johnson Family (6:00-7:30) and the Tyson Family (7:30-9:00)

Blacksmith Shop: Blacksmithing by Danny Culver

Peery Cabin: Storytelling by Anne Dumper

Farmhouse: Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus (bring your own camera for photos)

Farmhouse Kitchen: Hot Cider and Homemade Cookies

Loom House: Woodworking by Richard Vogel??

Doc Witten Cabin: Pioneer Apprentice Carolers (6:00 – 6:30)

Dale Elswick & Friends 6:30 – 7:30)

Ron & Rory Mullennex (7:30 – 9:00)

Red Barn: Richard Cole & Friends 6:00 – 7:00

Golden Age Grass 7:00 – 8:00

Tower Street String Band 8:00 – 9:00

Beeswax Candlemaking ($1.00 materials fee)

Museum Center: Costumed interpreters in the exhibit gallery

Dulcimer and Harp Music by Wilma Hatcher in the Welcome Area

Gift Shop Sale & In-Town Vacation Raffle??

Membership Drive

Pioneer Park Grounds: Bonfires, Pioneer Apprentices Caroling

Frog Level Service Station Open House and Old Fashioned Soda Pop

Cottage at Crab Orchard Open House

For more information on Frontier Christmas or other museum programs, please contact 276-988-6755 or

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