HomeCherry Hill NewsBarclay Farmstead hosts gingerbread-themed weekend

Barclay Farmstead hosts gingerbread-themed weekend

Events at venue are the first at the holidays since COVID

Barclay Farmstead will feature gingerbread house decorations from Dec. 2 through Dec. 4. (Special to The Sun/The Sun)

Since it was acquired in 1974, the building at the historic Barclay Farmstead has been the scene of a holiday weekend full of festivities every year – with the exception of 2020.

“The first year, there was still no heat in the house, but they chose to do it to start the house off,” said Peggy Wysocki, chair of the Friends of Barclay Farmstead. “The first year they bought the house, they started to do the holiday house and every year, there’s a different theme.”

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This year’s theme is Gingerbread Holiday House, and festivities will take place from Friday, Dec. 2 through Sunday, Dec. 4. 

“We’re feeling it’s the first one after COVID,” said Wysocki. “ … Gingerbread gives you that sense of joy and colorfulness and happiness. That’s why I chose it (as this year’s theme).”

Although the farmstead was able to hold a small gathering last year, this year’s events are the first since COVID two years ago and include docent-led holiday house tours that will be available on all three days of the holiday weekend. 

Each room has a different gingerbread theme, thanks to a team of 12 volunteers. Following the weekend festivities, the decorations will be taken down and the farmstead will close until spring.

The holiday weekend’s first-night festivities will take place from 5 to 8 p.m., with the theme Here We Go A-Wassailing, a nod to the old-time carol. In the spirit of the holidays, attendees will receive nonalcoholic wassail punch and a sugar cookie shaped like a gingerbread man. Carolers will sing throughout the evening.

The farmstead will have more family-oriented events Saturday, including its first gingerbread house contest at 11 a.m. Entering the contest is free and the houses should arrive prebuilt on trays. From 1 to 4 p.m., there will be a reading of Patricia Pollatco’s The Trees of the Dancing Goats by volunteers in the Walter Barclay room, crafts for the children, decorated rooms for adults to visit and gingerbread houses on display. 

Santa will visit from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., with gingerbread houses judged by 4 p.m. Contestants will be able to take back their creations.

The weekend will conclude Sunday with the last of the docent-led holiday house tours from 1 to 4 p.m., featuring decorated rooms and dulcimer music by Cynthia Smith. Though the farmstead offers tours throughout the year and to all township fifth graders, Wysocki noted the holiday tours are different.

“We never talk about holidays during our regular tours,” she noted. “It’s going to be the history of the house – with a holiday slant.”

Wysocki hopes people will feel a sense of warmth and happiness in viewing the (battery-operated) candlelit rooms and encourages attendees to purchase tickets in advance. They are available online at $8 per person, $10 for children and a cash fee of $12 in person. 

For more information, visit https://friends-of-barclay-farmstead.ticketleap.com/gingerbread-holiday-house/.


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