Wilmington Candlelight Tour returns for 50th anniversary

Wilmington Candlelight Tour returns for 50th anniversary
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:39 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A popular, traditional holiday event is back in Wilmington this year, celebrating its golden anniversary after COVID shut it down for the last two years.

It’s the 50th anniversary of Old Wilmington’s Candlelight Tour, which takes place Saturday, December 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $50, and you can purchase them here, or at the Latimer House located at 126 South 3rd Street, Wilmington.

Eleven buildings welcome ticketed guests to learn the history of Wilmington’s architectural masterpieces by walking through via a self-guided experience. Some of the buildings have been around since 1808, and the history behind those doors is astonishing. Plus, it’s a great chance to visit some places that you typically wouldn’t have access to.

The tour is an opportunity to explore local history by touring homes, places of worship and other architectural masterpieces.

Jacki Crew, manager at the Latimer House, explained how Wilmington is lucky to have these historical sites, and that most places have original details still preserved.

“The historic Wilmington area is pretty regulated as far as historic preservation goes, and I think we’re really lucky for that because there are a lot of original details that have been preserved. A lot of the homeowners have actually decorated the inside whether or not it might be a little bit more traditional or a little bit more modern. You’re able to go through and kind of see what the actual structure itself was like, even back then, with a more modern twist on it,” said Crew.

It is the perfect event for anyone, especially new people to the area. Even if you’ve experienced this before, you might want to go again because never-before-seen homes have been added.

The tour teaches you about the area’s rich cultural heritage and connects you with the past. This year, you can enjoy a self-guided tour through Victorian-Era homes, churches and even somewhere that you may visit regularly, such as the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center.

Wilmington is one of the most historic towns in North Carolina, and whether you’ve lived in the area for years or just moved here, there’s always a chance to shine some light on our history.

“When I first moved here, I thought it was a sleepy little town and as I have gotten more and more into the history of this area, I realized that it is an area that was pivotal during the Civil War. A lot of major things happened here that defined the rest of America’s history. I think the candlelight tour also contributes to that because there are a lot of newcomers to this area, so being able to just kind of delve in a little here and there will probably pique your interest,” said Crew.

After learning the history of these architectural buildings, even you might look at Wilmington from a new perspective.

This year’s tour sites include:

  • Latimer House, 126 South 3rd Street
  • Strausz House, 308 South 3rd Street
  • C.W. Worth House, 412 South 3rd Street
  • Richard Langdon House, 314 Orange Street
  • Pennington House, 622 South 2nd Street
  • Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center, 120 South 2nd Street
  • First Presbyterian Church, 125 South 3rd Street
  • Basilica of Saint Mary, 412 Ann Street
  • Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church, 409 S 5th Avenue