One of Burlington County’s most beloved holiday traditions is returning to Historic Smithville Park in Eastampton.
The Victorian Holiday Celebration at Smithville will be held this Sunday, Dec. 5 and will feature many of the wonderous sights and attractions that make it among the region’s most popular holiday festivals.
“Smithville is one of our county’s special places that’s full of beauty and history and seeing the village and mansion decorated for the holidays is simply breathtaking,” said Burlington County Commissioner Linda Hynes, who is the Board’s liaison to the County Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “This celebration is the perfect way for families to come together and enjoy the holiday season. The pandemic prevented us from holding it last year, so we’re thrilled to be able to bring it back now and provide a winter wonderland for our residents to enjoy.”
The daylong ceremony will kick-off at 1 PM with the arrival of Santa Claus in a horse-drawn carriage and will continue through 5 PM at the County Park off Smithville Road.
Visitors can marvel at the sights of the park’s Victorian village and mansion decked out in holiday finery and the sounds of carolers and choirs performing favorite holiday tunes. There will also be numerous other free activities both indoors and outdoors throughout the park:
- Hop aboard the Holiday Express train or the horse-drawn carriage.
- Ride the Rodeo Reindeer, see how long you can stay on!
- Lace-up a pair of skates and take a lap around the synthetic ice-skating rink.
- Find that special gift for someone in the Holiday Marketplace.
- Visit Santa Claus.
- Grab a bite to eat at the food court or warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and S’mores by the fire, provided by the Friends of the Mansion and roasted by the County’s Fire Marshal.
The event is free. There is a nominal fee to tour the holiday-decorated mansion from 1 PM to 3 PM. Proceeds from the tour benefit the Friends of the Mansion at Smithville.
Also featured at the event is the Winter Art Show in the Annex gallery. Complementing the Victorian Holiday Celebration and the festive Holiday Tours of the mansion, the exhibit reflects the holiday and Winter Seasons. The show runs from December 5th to January 16th.
The gallery is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM and Sundays from noon to 4 PM.
The village of Smithville was originally known as Shreveville before being acquired by industrialist Hezekiah Bradley Smith in 1865. Smith renamed the village Smithville and transformed into a thriving industrial town responsible for the manufacturing cutting-edge woodworking machines, the famed American Star Bicycle and even the world’s first bicycle railroad.
The Burlington County bought the village, Smith’s mansion and what remained of the H.B. Smith Machine Company factory in 1975 and developed it into Burlington County’s first park.
“Smithville is one of the real jewels of our County and the holidays is the perfect time to experience all this park has to offer. You won’t be disappointed,” Hynes said.