Hundreds turn out for 33rd annual Candlelight Tour

Published 9:32 pm Monday, December 7, 2009

The sounds of horse hooves, Christmas caroling and smell of apple cider wafted down the streets of downtown Suffolk this weekend for the annual Candlelight Tour.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society-hosted event began Saturday and will conclude tonight with tours at the Dawson House from noon to 6 p.m.

Despite the rain, organizers reported a few hundred people turned out to tour the homes and enjoy carriage rides, music and homemade treats from the Sugarplum Kitchen.

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“We had a good turnout,” Sue Woodward, who is this year’s chairman and has participated in most of the past tours, said. “It would have been better with happier weather, but we did well.”

This year’s “Voices of the Past” candlelight tour included four of downtown Suffolk’s historical gems: the Eley-McKay House and Phillips-Dawson House on Bank Street, the Crumpler House on Grace Street, and the Montgomery Lofts on Main Street.

“The night was factual and fun,” Woodward said. Locals dressed up in 1900s period clothing. Mr. Crumpler and Mrs. Phillips — two of the Phillips-Dawson previous owners — and a host of period-dressed guests occupied the homes. The society also had various musical ensembles playing at each house throughout the weekend.

With this year’s event set to conclude tonight, Woodward said she has already started preparing for next year’s event.

“People drive by and don’t see what’s there. We want people to see these great buildings and remember them,” Woodward said.

Woodward said organizers should have final attendance figures by the end of the week.