Old-fashioned Christmas fun returns to Troy Historic Village

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published December 5, 2023

 The Troy Historic Village will once again host its Victorian Christmas program this December so the public can explore the holiday season of yesteryear.

The Troy Historic Village will once again host its Victorian Christmas program this December so the public can explore the holiday season of yesteryear.

Photo provided by Alex Konieczny


TROY — The Troy Historic Village is inviting the public in for an old-fashioned celebration with its Victorian Christmas program.

The village’s Civil War-era reenactors will move into the village for one weekend, living inside the historic homes as people would have done in the 1850s and 1860s. Dressed authentically in the fashions of the era, they will prepare meals, read and sew by candlelight, play games, decorate and prepare for Christmas as many Americans did during the Victorian era.

Guests are encouraged to chat with these reenactors to learn more about Christmas celebrations and life in the mid-19th century.

“Reenactors will be doing everything from decorating and wrapping gifts to playing games and singing carols. We’re even planning on reading ‘’Twas the Night Before Christmas,’” said Youth Programs Director and reenactor Alex Konieczny. “The Victorian (era) is a really cool era to talk about Christmas, because so many classic Christmas traditions and decorations are from this era. We will be portraying 1865, the first Christmas after the Civil War has ended, so there’s another cool layer to this event.”

“This is our third year doing Victorian Christmas,” added Village Executive Director Jen Peters. “We’ve stuck with this theme because it’s such an exciting time regarding the establishment of Christmas traditions. We set it in 1865, since it’s the end of the Civil War, so soldiers are coming home and we have so much recognizable iconography. … You get to see the Village after dark, and there’s music some nights. It’s so fun.”

The general store will carry some last-minute stocking stuffers and candy for purchase, and it will provide a warm place for attendees to hang out and drink hot cocoa. Friday night will feature period music provided by local musicians Birdseye Blue.

Victorian Christmas will be open to visitors of all ages 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 16; and noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. Tickets are sold in time slots and are $10 for Troy Historical Society members and $12 for nonmembers. Space is limited, so tickets should be purchased in advance on the Troy Historic Village website, www.troyhistoricvillage.org. The Troy Historic Village is located at 60 W. Wattles Road.

“New this year is the addition of Breakfast with the Victorians on Sunday, Dec. 17,” said Konieczny. “Guests will have the opportunity to dine with the reenactors from ‘Victorian Christmas.’ Breakfast fare consistent with the period will be served, and guests are encouraged to join in conversation, games and carols. Tickets for Breakfast with the Victorians are sold separately, but include admission to Victorian Christmas on Sunday.”

The village will host “A Jane Austen Christmas,” presented by Barb Gulley, of Barb’s Tea Service, at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14. A part of the village’s monthly Thursday Tea series, this talk will explore how the Austen family and characters from Jane’s books celebrated Christmas during the Regency era. Guests should purchase tickets in advance on the Troy Historic Village website.

“The Jane Austen Christmas is part of our regular Thursday Tea series,” said Peters. “Once a month, we do this Thursday Tea program. We have different presenters come in every month, and we have tea and cookies, and we touch on a variety of topics. This includes boat building, architecture and statues, men’s clothing, and so forth. This month’s tea program will be Christmas through Jane Austen’s eyes. It’s more of a presentation rather than a tour, like the Victorian Christmas. It takes place at the village as well.”

Peters said both programs are a fantastic way to explore the past and see something new, even for those who have attended past Troy Historic Village events.

“It’s a great chance to think about Troy at a different time and what people were like at that time, taking a wagon to someone’s house for the holiday and so forth,” she said. “I love that the buildings here really feel alive. Our reenactors stay in the buildings. They bring a lot of their own items to reenact, and it makes it all feel so real and lived-in. Even if you’re familiar with the village, it’s a whole new experience.”