Bellefonte Victorian Christmas has been growing in size and scope since it started 33 years ago.
“I used to be the event chair,” said Sally Houser, “but we’ve gotten so large that we actually have four co-chairs this year.” Serving alongside her are Renee Brown, Randi Neshteruk and Romayne Naylor.
This year’s Bellefonte Victorian Christmas boasts one of the largest schedules in the event’s history. Many attractions from past years are returning, including an arts and crafts show featuring almost 100 vendors, horse-drawn carriage rides and the Festival of Trees hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology. According to Houser, this year’s festival also features some new additions.
“We actually have the State College Community Theatre joining us. They’re doing a play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Bellefonte Area High School,” she said.
The group, directed by Bruce Fleischer, will perform an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” with 10 performers covering more than 40 roles. Tickets are available through the group’s website, www.scctonline.org.
In previous years, organizers said event attendees included a mix of town residents, visitors from the surrounding region and people traveling from out of state. According to Houser, one of the main factors contributing to the rising popularity of Bellefonte Victorian Christmas is the group’s increased advertising efforts and strong word of mouth.
“We’ve increased our visitors, and now we get between 6,000 and 8,000 people. For our small community that’s wonderful,” she said.
Naylor explained why the town is an ideal place for a holiday celebration of this nature.
“You have all of the wonderful architecture in Bellefonte, along with the independently owned shops that have things you can’t find at a mall or big box store,” she said. “As for the event itself, there are so many things going on that pretty much anyone can find something of interest.”
Schedule of events
Victorian high tea with entertainment, Reynold’s Mansion
Visit www.bellefontevictorianchristmas.com for more information.