Presque Isle Historical Society’s Secretary/Treasurer Kim Smith said, “For me, Christmas has always been a magical time of year. This year, we all need some magic in our lives. So, for 2020, Presque Isle Historical Society is truly trying to make its Victorian Christmas event even more magical. And, of course, we must balance that with the health and safety of our volunteers and attendees, so it will look slightly different this year.” 

Victorian Christmas at the Estey will take place on Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12 at the 1875 Vera Estey House at 16 Third Street from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person at the door. To ensure guest safety this year, the tours will be led by a guide and there will not be costumed interpreters in each room. Face coverings and social distancing will be required. In addition, indoor event number limits will be followed. Visitors will still enjoy Wassail, a hot cider punch; live music; a sampling of sugar plums; and a taste of Peppermint Pig, the only Victorian Christmas tradition originating in the U.S. Each year, there is a new exhibit in the middle parlor. This year’s exhibit is on “The Inventions of the Victorian Era”, sponsored by Maine Humanities Council. With this exhibit, visitors will also sample Jelly Babies, a sugary confection from the 1800s made popular again by the popular TV series, Dr. Who. 

For the 5th year of the Victorian Christmas event, the Society will bring back the pre-event at the Aroostook Centre Mall on December 12. The Society is partnering with Wintergreen Arts to make that day extra special. At 1:00 p.m., join Presque Isle Historical Society for a presentation on the Christmas traditions we observe today that originated in the Victorian Era, a “make and keep” Victorian Christmas ornament session, AND a very special reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Emmy Award winning Broadway actor and playwright (and Presque Isle native) John Cariani, who will join by video. Tickets for this event are available at the door. The afternoon session is followed by Wintergreen Art’s Christmas event and culminates with the Society’s last evening of Victorian Christmas at the Estey. 

In keeping with the Victorian Christmas traditions at the house, each room in the small, twostory Victorian era house is adorned with hand-made Victorian era inspired decorations and live florals including a beautiful life-size evergreen gown. Children of all ages can also participate in a scavenger hunt based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. 

Presque Isle resident Lyndsey Maynard has attended the event every year for the last few years with her family and says, “Christmas just isn’t Christmas for me without going to Victorian Christmas at the Estey”. 

The mission of Presque Isle Historical Society, a 501c3 non-profit founded in 1963, is to study, promote and preserve the history, culture, heritage and physical artifacts of Presque Isle for future and present generations. For more information on its programs or to make a tax deductible contribution, visit them on the web at www.pihistory.org.

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