Pioneer Christmas offers old fashioned celebration at Mile Branch Settlement

Published 9:21 am Friday, November 21, 2014

The Pioneer Christmas at Mile Branch Settlement is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6, and Sunday, Dec. 7.

The entire event is free. The Settlement is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Mile Branch Chairman Judy Dale said the event has a little something for everyone.

“We start off with the 10 a.m. Pioneer Christmas Parade on Saturday, and all the buggies and wagons will be horse-drawn. This is a Pioneer Christmas Parade, and nothing is motorized,” Dale said. “And we’ll have the horseback riders.”

Dale said the Settlement is a sight to behold during the event.

“It is beautiful. All the cabins are decorated with natural products in ways they would have been in the 1800s.”

Arts and crafts and antiques will be on display in the Johnson Cabin. There will be cracklings and jambalaya, Mile Branch cornmeal at the gristmill, hot apple cider in Ben’s Ford’s kitchen, hoop cheese and crackers at Bankston General Store, assorted jellies, period Christmas decorations in cabins and period historical demonstrations.

“Each day choirs are coming from local churches and schools to sing Christmas carols for us,” Dale said.

Under the direction of Half Moon Baptist Church, a worship service will be conducted Sunday at 1 p.m. At 1:30 p.m., the First Baptist Church Choir will perform on the Sylvest Cabin porch. At 2:30 p.m., the Hillcrest Baptist Church Choir performs on the Sylvest porch.

Dale said Civil War re-enactors will camp in tents at Mile Branch and demonstrate camp life and fire off cannons during that time period.

Dale said cornbread and chicken dumpling cook-offs are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

“A nice thing is that children can have pictures of Santa,” Dale said. “Instead of a photo of a fireplace, we have the real thing. That makes for a beautiful picture.”

The photos of Santa will be done on Bateman Porch.

The Pioneer Christmas at Mile Branch Settlement is putting on the event in conjunction with the Franklinton Chamber of Commerce. A 5K run and car show are scheduled for Saturday.

The Commercial Building has a Christmas Festival sponsored by the Varnado Store Museum.

No pets or smoking will be allowed during the Pioneer Christmas at Mile Branch Settlement.