Candelight at the Ranch Dec. 7 and 8

Candelight at the Ranch Dec. 7 and 8

Posted: Updated:
photo provided by Ranching Heritage Center photo provided by Ranching Heritage Center
LUBBOCK, Texas -

News release from National Ranching Heritage Center:

What began four decades ago with a few hundred visitors now attracts thousands of area residents as the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) at Texas Tech University celebrates its 40th Annual Candlelight at the Ranch from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8.

“Because this is the 40th anniversary of what has become our signature event, this year we’re adding a little more sparkle,” explained Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Director of Education Julie Hodges, coordinator of the event. 

Despite providing more lights and sparkle, holiday scenes created in the center’s historic structures will be lit as much as possible with only lanterns, fireplaces and campfires. “Pioneer ranches had no electricity,” Hodges said. “We want our visitors to celebrate Christmas as it might have been on the open prairie in frontier days.” 

In addition to more than 4,000 luminarias that will line the paths of the historic park, lights will outline the museum building, the roofline of the 6666 Barn, the stone sign on the Marsha Sharp Freeway and the Fourth Street front gate leading into the NRHC. 

Thanks to the help of Holland Gardens in Lubbock, the center has been able to convert all the Christmas lighting to LED bulbs, and the savings in reduced energy will allow this year’s event to include more lights than any previous Candlelight. The lighted pathways will be wheelchair and stroller accessible as visitors pass cowboys camped out with their horses and brewing coffee over a chuck wagon fire.  

With the help of more than 150 volunteers each night—many dressed in period clothing—holiday scenes will be recreated in 14 historic structures such as the 1838 El Capote Log Cabin, the 1886 Las Escarbadas XIT division headquarters, the 1888 Matador Half-Dugout and the 1909 Queen-Anne style Barton House. Santa Claus will be available to visit with children in the Pitchfork Pavilion.

Brazos West will provide live music in the historic 1908 Four Sixes Barn where visitors can purchase hot cocoa, cider and cookies. Street Sweets Food Truck will sell hot drinks and kettle corn near the XIT headquarters, and more kettle corn and drinks will be for sale on the patio while members of the Lubbock High School Madrigal Choir serenade visitors with Christmas carols. 

In cooperation with the NRHC, the International Cultural Center (ICC) at Texas Tech will host a celebration of German Christmas traditions from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. The ICC and NRHC are located within easy walking distance of each other, and both events are free and open to the public. The NRHC is located at 3121 Fourth Street and the ICC is at 601 Indiana Ave.  

Photo information: Lubbock resident Amy Pope and her children Will and Abby dressed in period clothing last year and will return again this year to bake Christmas cookies in the century-old Harrell House to give Candlelight at the Ranch visitors a glimpse of a pioneer Christmas Dec. 7 and 8. As a child, Amy helped her parents serve as Candlelight hosts and wants her children to have a similar experience. This is her 29th year of service at the annual Christmas event.

Powered by Frankly