By Francene DePrez Rainey
Step back in time as the Historic Jefferson Railway, an antique live steam narrow-gauge train, embraces an old-fashioned Christmas in the country. Enjoy the lighted vignettes and hear about Joyous Christmas Celebrations aboard the train that circles the Piney Woods along the Big Cypress Bayou. The decorated historic railroad depot captures the holiday spirit. Tickets are now on sale online or by phone.
The Christmas Train opens on November 24, 2016 and runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 31, 2016. They will be closed November 27 and December 25.
Also, ring in the New Year with the Rail of Lights New Year’s Train on December 29, 30 and 31. This ride will feature the dropping of the ball in Times Square, complete with beverages, noisemakers and a fantastic fireworks show, with a cannon firing dramatic “dragon’s breath” on every train ride.
The live steam train was built in 1964 and is one of the few operational steam trains in the United States. First Class is offered in a beautiful historic, warm, enclosed coach while the open-canopied observation cars provide an excellent view of the ride along the river. If you are riding in the open coaches, be sure to dress warmly and bring a blanket.
The excursions will take you by a life-size nativity scene, the German Markets, Jerusalem and the Angel Tree. View scenes representing Santa Fe, Alaska, Russia, China and Australia. Enjoy an authentic life-sized 90-year old Christmas card as well as the post card sent by soldiers during World War II and other favorites: the aluminum tree, reminiscent of the 1960’s; a whimsical Teddy Bear tree; and Charlie Brown’s forlorn little Christmas tree.
Also, experience the warmth of an old-fashioned Christmas during the 34th annual Candlelight Tour of Homes during the first two weekends in December — Dec. 1 – 3 and Dec. 8 – 10, 2016. View lavish Victorian homes in the soft glow of candlelight. The fragrance of fresh fir trees, each glittering with tinsel, ribbon, and sparkling glass balls, wafts through rooms filled with sumptuous holiday decorations. Women in lovely hooped gowns and gentlemen in top hats and tails describe each home’s origins and finery. www.jeffersoncandlelight.com
Stay, play, dine, shop and explore Jefferson – a small historic town nestled deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Jefferson seems frozen in time and is an elegant reminder of a bygone era. The downtown area will be aglow with lights and greenery during the holiday season. You will want to make Jefferson and the Rail of Lights Train an annual tradition for your whole family.
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