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Another Christmas tradition in Lubbock is returning to an in-person, real experience after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. The National Ranching Heritage Center will host Candlelight at the Ranch next weekend.

This will be the 43rd Annual Candlelight at the Ranch will be a return to tradition for many who attend each year. Last year, the celebration was moved to a video format and aired on PBS in Lubbock due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not this year though.

This year, Candlelight at the Ranch will be on Friday, December 10 and Saturday, December 11 from 6:30-9:00 pm.

If you haven't been to a Candlelight at the Ranch, you are really missing out. The entire event is about celebrating a frontier Christmas. The pathways, scenes, and even the structures themselves are lit as much as possible with lanterns, fireplaces, and campfires. Some of the structures were actually built when electricity was more accessible so you may see some lights in those buildings.

During the event, they try to keep as much as possible to the period of time they are representing. According to a press release, around 200 volunteers help put on the event and many are dressed in clothing that you may have seen from 1780 to 1950.

This year, the Candlelight at the Ranch event will use an "open range" format instead of being in lines all night.

To avoid long lines, Candlelight uses an “open range” concept that allows visitors to choose in what order they view the historic structures and what path they take through the 19-acre historic park. Pathways are wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Visitors who come on Friday night will have the added advantage of walking to the nearby Texas Tech International Cultural Center from 5:30 to 7:30 to participate in Weihnachtsfest, a Celebration of German Holiday Traditions. Both events are family-friendly, free and open to the public. The ICC is located at 601 Indiana Ave. within walking distance of the NRHC.

Be sure to make plans to attend one of the great Christmas traditions in Lubbock.

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