Get into the spirit

Published 9:17 pm Monday, December 2, 2013

It’s finally December in Suffolk. Did this year fly by for anybody else? It seems it hasn’t been that long ago since the News-Herald was covering Relay For Life, Independence Day events and the start of school. Just me? OK, never mind.

Even so, December means it is the Christmas season, the annual celebration of Christ’s birth. Here in Suffolk, folks mark the arrival of the season with beloved traditions such as the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society’s Candlelight Tour, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts’ presentation of “The Nutcracker” and the accompanying Sugar Plum Tea, Christmas tree sales that support several local community service organizations and more.

This year’s Candlelight Tour will visit homes in the historic Bennett’s Creek area, where English settlement of what’s now known as Suffolk began. All of the homes on this year’s tour — the Obici House, Willis Home, Cornell Home and Northey Home — stand on land that once belonged to Richard Bennett, who came from England in 1628 and soon owned more than 2,000 acres. One of the homes is very near the site of an archeological site that may have been the home of Bennett himself.

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The tour, always a visual and informative treat for newcomers or old-timers, supports the historical society’s programs and initiatives. Tickets for the tour are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the tour. They are available at the Suffolk Visitor Center, Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum, A. Dodson’s, Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy and The 18th Century Merchant. Call 539-2781 or visit for more information.

Another feast for the eyes will be held on West Finney Avenue on Dec. 14 and 15. Ballet Virginia’s “The Nutcracker” will be presented at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. This beautiful production is preceded by the Sugar Plum Tea, where youngsters can meet the dancers and get autographs, taste sweet treats and do a take-home craft in the center’s elaborately decorated ballroom.

It’s truly a winter wonderland from beginning to end and is a great way to introduce even the youngest children to appreciating ballet. Call 923-2900 or visit for more information.

And if you haven’t bought your tree yet, consider getting one from one of the three lots sponsored by a nonprofit organization:

  • Suffolk Elks Lodge No. 685, 329 W. Constance Road
  • Knights of Columbus Suffolk Council 7363, 2432 Pruden Blvd.
  • Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department, 15020 Carrolltton Blvd.