HOUGHTON — Times and fashions have changed since Houghton was founded by Ransom Shelden in 1852. The grand stone buildings along the main street named for the town’s founder, however, still reflect the elegance and grace of the mid-Victorian Era in which they were constructed, mostly between the 1880s and 1890s.
The elegance and grace of that grand era will return again on Saturday, Dec. 14, with the city of Houghton and downtown business’ third annual Victorian Christmas celebration, and the public is invited to attend, and is encouraged to come out in their finest Victorian fashions, or lacking them, people are welcome to stop by the city hall between 3:30 and 4 p.m., where there will be some period clothing available for those who would like to dress up. They are also welcome to join in the downtown stroll and sing with carolers.
Lt. Nick Robert of the Houghton Police, and one of the event organizers, said that there are activities for all ages.
“Starting at 2 to 4 p.m., there will be the Carnegie Open House events,” said Roberts. “Kids can get pictures with Santa Claus, they’re going to have music, and ‘Wintertime Stories with Chris.’”
There will also be gingerbread house decorating, a candy-covered playhouse, and hot chocolate and sweet treats.
From 4-6 p.m., the downtown events of the Victorian- inspired Christmas celebration will begin.
“We should have anywhere from 30 to 40 costumed villagers in traditional dress, walking around the streets,” Roberts said. “We’ll also have eight or so burn-barrels for people to stay warm.”
Whereas the past two years, the city provided small sandwiches for people, Roberts said this year, they have asked the local restaurants do offer specials.
“We want to make sure that our businesses get business,” Roberts said with a chuckle. “We don’t want to take away from them, so we have restaurants, they know how to cook, it’s just easier and it helps them out for the holidays, as well.”
The Portage Lake District Library is part of the celebration again this year, where horse and carriage rides will begin and end, and they are also offering hot chocolate and cookies.
The downtown businesses will also be open for the event.
“Please, go in and shop,” Roberts said. “Have fun, walk around. I’m sure their stores will be decorated, and it will feel like Christmas.’
Roberts said for those who would like to participate but lack period clothes, he would like to invite them to go to the city hall between 3:30 and 4 p.m.
“We will have some outfits here if they would like to borrow them,” he said, “we want to help them out.”
Last but not least, there will a tree lighting at Bridgeview Park at 6 p.m.