Bentonville Holds Civil War Christmas Dec. 4, Aycock Open House Dec. 7 and 9

From plum pudding to collard greens, or cotton stalks and popcorn, there will be lots of activity at the free, family-friendly holiday open house programs at Bentonville Battlefield and Aycock Birthplace state historic sites, sharing good cheer and the theme “Make History This Holiday.”

Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site will hold its holiday celebration on Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., featuring furlough time with a Civil War soldier at Bentonville Battlefield circa 1863. The Gov. Charles B. Aycock Birthplace State Historic Site holds open house on Dec. 7 and 9 from 6:30-9 p.m., recreating a celebration with the Aycock Family circa 1870.     

Costumed interpreters will festively decorate Bentonville’s Harper House for “A Civil War Christmas” using natural materials such as holly, magnolia, cotton stalks, fruits and popcorn strands.  At various times visitors can make popcorn garlands or paper holiday ornaments.  Costumed military interpreters will discuss how soldiers spent furlough time with family and friends while on break from the battle.  Re-enactors will perform period music, and apple cider and cookies will add to the holiday cheer.

A festive farm feast will cover the table at Aycock Birthplace to show a typical late 19th-century Christmas dinner.  Chicken, collards, biscuits and plum pudding were special-occasion meals of celebration.  Costumed interpreters will greet visitors in each room of the house and in the one-room schoolhouse as part of the annual Christmas tours.  Gov. Charles B. Aycock grew up here and was known for construction of 1,100 schools statewide in his four-year term.  A shadow play will be presented both nights, and gospel music will be performed by the Primitive Baptist Singers on Tuesday, Dec. 7.  Visitors will be invited to make crafts on Thursday, Dec. 9.  The staff will explain post-Civil War Christmas traditions and share open-hearth cooking demonstrations and hot apple cider.  

For information call Bentonville Battlefield at (910) 594-0789 or go to http://www.nchistoricsites.org/bentonvi/bentonvi.htm.  Bentonville is located at 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks, N.C .27524. 

Call Aycock Birthplace at (919) 242-5581 or see the Web site at http://www.nchistoricsites.org/aycock/aycock.htm.  The site is located at 264 Governor Aycock Road, Fremont, N.C. 27830. 

Bentonville Battlefield and Aycock Birthplace are part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.

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