The annual Oakwood Candlelight Tour usually takes place on the second weekend in December in Raleigh, North Carolina. This year marks the 38th annual Candlelight Tour. The dates and times for this year’s event are Saturday, December 12, and Sunday, December 13, 2009 from 1:00-7:00pm.
The Oakwood neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Raleigh, with many of the homes having been built in the nineteenth century. The Oakwood neighborhood, which is located just outside of the downtown, is filled with beautiful Victorian mansions that exemplify Neo-Classical and Queen Anne styles of architecture.
Each year during the Candlelight Tour, designated homes in the Oakwood neighborhood are opened to the public for tours. This year, thirteen homes will be on display. The homes that are part of the Candlelight Tour change every single year, so you certainly won’t be bored if you make a habit of attending this event each year. You also get to see a lot of Raleigh’s Oakwood neighborhood as you make your way from house to house.
I have gone on this tour in the past, and it is very entertaining! I love to take an up close and personal look at homes in Raleigh that I wouldn’t get to see otherwise. This is an especially great holiday tradition to start with a group of friends. When you go on the Candlelight Tour with a group of people, it is fun to discuss your friends’ likes and dislikes with regard to the owners’ decorating tastes, layout of the homes, and architectural styles.
Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 if you wait until the day that you go on the Candlelight Tour to purchase your tickets. Advance tickets are sold in several locations in Raleigh and online. A list of advance ticket sites can be found on the official Historic Oakwood website.
Participants in the tour should start at the Oakwood Inn, located at 411 N. Bloodworth Street in Raleigh. Here, you can purchase tickets, and even if you have purchased a ticket in advance, this is where you can get a map of Oakwood and a list of all of the houses that are on the tour.
If you need a break from walking, hot drinks will be provided in the Oakwood Common at the corner of N. East Street and Boundary Street. Tea and cookies will be offered at the Burning Coal Theater at the corner of Polk and Person Streets. Restrooms will also be available at the theater.
If you have time after the Candlelight Tour, you may also want to take a walk through the historic Oakwood cemetery, which was established in 1869. The cemetery, which sits on 102 acres in Raleigh, contains a two and a half acre Confederate Cemetery, where approximately 1500 Confederate soldiers are buried. The Confederate Cemetery also contains the House of Memory, which was built in 1935 to honor not only the soldiers of the Confederacy, but also the numerous North Carolina service men and women who have served our country during times of war.
Sources: Personal experience, Historic Oakwood website, Oakwood Cemetery website