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Old Bethpage Village Presents “Candlelight Evenings” During Winter Holiday

Candlelight Evenings features period entertainment, including music, dancing and story-telling.

One of Long Island’s grandest holiday traditions, “Candlelight Evenings” at Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR), will take place December 15-16 and 26-30, with the added attraction this year of a crafts fair, announced Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi. The event takes place from 5-9:30 p.m.

Candlelight Evenings offers a Hallmark card setting of flickering candles inside historic homes and 19th-century holiday decorations and entertainment, all set within the confines of the darkened village.

Among the forms of 19th-century entertainment represented will be the “Magic Lantern” show, the predecessor of the contemporary slide show, with displays of hand-colored glass slides of famous persons, places and events.

There will also be musical entertainment, including a brass quartet playing popular seasonal tunes and traditional American dancers, and readings of classic holiday children’s stories in the Manetto Hill Church.

In addition, visitors can warm up around the bonfire in the village’s crossroads and enjoy hot, mulled cider and ginger cookies at the Noon Inn, for a small fee. This year’s event includes a crafts fair on December 15-16 featuring the works (for sale) of Long Islanders, held in Exhibition Hall.

“This is a wonderful family tradition on Long Island that continues to provide a unique holiday experience,” says OBVR Site Director and Curator Jim McKenna. “We encourage visitors to bring their own safe lighting devices, though no open-flame candles or propane devices.”

OBVR will be closed during its regular daytime hours (Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.) on Candlelight Festival dates; it will also be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Village will close for the winter following the Festival, reopening in March 2008. Entrance fees are $5 (children 4-14, seniors and volunteer firefighters) and $7 (adults); children under four years of age are admitted free.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with the opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a large, recreated mid-19th-century American village set on more than 200 acres. It is located on Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage (exit 48 on the LIE); for more information, call 516-572-8400.