Mansion prepares for ‘Southern Holiday Traditions’
Campus and community volunteers iron festive ribbon, string popcorn garland and hang Christmas wreaths in preparation for the holidays at the Old Governor’s Mansion at Georgia College.
This year’s theme: Southern Holiday Traditions.
“We’re emphasizing traditions of the mansion from years past,” said Matt Davis, mansion curator. “Visitors will discover new interpretations of Christmas throughout the three-story mansion’s various rooms.”
Approximately 150 student helpers and 25 community members are decorating the 174-year-old mansion with ivy, pinecones, magnolias, holly, cotton, roses and berries.
“Our color palette for this year includes coral, apricot and cranberry,” said Dr. Harriett Whipple, Georgia College Professor Emerita of Biology. “We’re also incorporating different types of native greenery that would have been available to those living in the mansion during the early 19th century.”
The mansion’s 23-foot Christmas tree will light up the building, dressed with 5,000 lights. The tree will include 3,000 glass icicles, 1,500 handmade ornaments and 1,500 candlelights.
Georgia College junior Kristen Aller helps tie Christmas bows on wreaths.
“I’m obsessed with Christmas and historical homes,” said the criminal justice major and second-year volunteer. “I’ve learned so much about the history of the mansion during this time of year. Volunteering here also puts you into the holiday spirit and really shows the campus’ and local community’s dedication to the mansion.”
Annually, the mansion welcomes approximately 2,000 visitors for Christmas tours.
“We’re introducing new décor and entertainment this year,” said Jim Turner, mansion director. “We look forward to connecting with new and old guests as they learn about the mansion’s rich holiday traditions.”
The mansion is closed through Friday. It re-opens Saturday to debut its Christmas decorations and provide holiday tours through Sunday, Dec. 23.
The mansion also will present traditional holiday music during its candlelight tours: The Sweet Adelines Chorus performs Saturday, Dec. 8; The Milledgeville Singers Guild performs Saturday, Dec. 15; and local pianist Jana Harrell performs Saturday, Dec. 20.
New this season is the mansion’s musical day Christmas concert. The concert begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, with a performance by Jackson High School Handbell Choir, followed by a noon performance by Georgia College’s Max Noah Singers.
“All of the musical groups are amazing,” said Davis. “The acoustics in the mansion rotunda add a special element to each performance. Also, back by popular demand is our gingerbread replica of the mansion. This season is filled with must-attend events and sites for all ages.”
- The Old Governor’s Mansion presents its holiday décor 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Tours begin on the hour.
- Candlelight tours are offered at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 15 and 20. Tours feature traditional holiday musical selections in the rotunda.
- Music day Christmas concert begins at 11 a.m. with a performance by Jackson High School Handbell Choir and a noon performance by Georgia College’s Max Noah Singers.
- Holiday hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, call 478-445-4545.