Holiday merrymakers have a wide choice of events


December 27, 1992|By Dorothy Fleetwood | Dorothy Fleetwood,Staff Writer

It's your last chance to catch up on some of the great holiday events that continue around the region. And if you're looking for an alternative to the round of New Year's Eve parties, try one of the family-style celebrations listed below.

The "clustered spires of Frederick," noted in Whittier's Civil War poem "Barbara Fritchie," will be the focus of attention during the free Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship in Frederick from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. today. The tour has become a post-Christmas tradition that attracts numerous visitors to the city. This year it has been expanded to include 13 churches and one synagogue. Among them is the Evangelical Reformed Church, attended by Barbara Fritchie.

Others are the Asbury United Methodist Church; All Saints Episcopal Church; Frederick Presbyterian Church; Calvary United Methodist Church; Beth Sholom Synagogue; Centennial Memorial United Methodist Church; Grace United Church of Christ; St. John's Catholic Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church; Trinity Chapel; First Baptist Church; and two additions, Frederick Church of the Brethren and the Visitation Academy Chapel. The Frederick Historical Society will also hold open house during the tour.

The streets in the historic district will be lighted with luminarias, and complimentary refreshments and cookies will be available at hospitality centers. Hosts will be on hand at each of the sites to answer questions about its history, and many churches will offer choral and instrumental music.

A brochure listing the sites will be available during tour hours at the Frederick Visitor Center, 19 East Church St. For information, call (800) 999-3613 or (301) 663-8687.

Washington-area activities

Spend some time this week in Washington, where you'll find activities for all ages. For children there's the holiday celebration at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The celebration, which opened yesterday and continues through Thursday, looks at the various ways we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa through music, storytelling, crafts and food. Hanukkah observation includes the telling of folk tales, music and the preparation of knishes.

A daily showing of a video produced by Maryland Public Television offers information about the African-American tradition of Kwanzaa. There will also be daily storytelling sessions and a presentation of the harvest ceremony. Music from around the world will be performed by the Washington Balalaika Society, Celtic folk musicians, an American string band, gospel groups, Caribbean musicians, Scottish fiddlers, Greek and Italian accordionists and many others. You'll see the preparation of holiday foods from various ethnic communities, along with holiday craft demonstrations, such as the making of menorahs, pinatas, a Venezuelan nacimiento (nativity scene), Christmas tree ornaments and tie-dying for Kwanzaa. The museum, at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest, is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Call (202) 357-2700.

White House candlelight tours are scheduled tomorrow through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.You can visit the decorated main state rooms of the White House while local choirs and bell ringers perform Christmas music. Admission is by free ticket. Lines form on East Executive Avenue. Expect to find long lines for this popular event. Call (202) 456-2200.

"Victorian Holidays" is the theme for the annual Poinsettia Show at the U.S. Botanic Garden, Maryland Avenue and First Street Southwest, through next Sunday. Over 1,000 poinsettias of every description will be on display. The East and West Galleries will feature Victorian vignettes, outdoor garden ornaments and a Christmas tree decorated with popcorn garlands and dried tussie-mussies (small bouquets of herbs and flowers). Santa's sleigh can be found in the Orangerie. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Call (202) 225-7099.

The 15th annual Festival of Lights, Trees and Music continues through next Sunday at the Washington Temple Visitors Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kensington. Temple grounds are illuminated by thousands of lights, and inside the Visitors Center is a display of nine miniature nativity scenes. Programs of Christmas music are presented at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 each evening through Thursday, and a live nativity scene can be observed in the temple parking lot between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Admission is free. The church is at 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, off Exit 33A of the Capital Beltway. Call (301) 587-0144.

New Year's Eve celebration

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