Take your family back in time, literally, during Guthrie’s annual month-long Territorial Christmas Celebration. And this year, you can take advantage of Amtrack’s Heartland Flyer Christmas Train December 10-12, when passengers arriving in Guthrie will be greeted with a Christmas-themed party complete with music and local residents dressed in Victorian-era attire.
“There is no other event in Oklahoma like Guthrie’s Territorial Christmas Celebration,” says Guthrie Chamber of Commerce President Mary Coffin. “The town transforms from the 21st Century to the 19th Century.”
The Heartland Flyer’s usual stopping point from Ft. Worth, Texas is Oklahoma City; but this year, the city of Guthrie and Amtrak have teamed up to provide transportation to Guthrie as part of the town’s annual celebration. “We are especially excited that Amtrak is allowing the Heartland Flyer to travel a little further north so visitors throughout Texas and Oklahoma can enjoy the wonder and history of our Territorial Christmas Celebration,” explains Coffin.
The train will make its final route back to Oklahoma City the morning of December 13th before continuing on to Ft. Worth. Regardless of your mode of transportation to get to Guthrie this month, your family can revel in the many activities planned for the annual celebration.
- The Victorian Walk features residents in territorial-era dress providing warm treats and hot wassail for strolling guests. Carolers and peanut vendors (in period dress) and over sixty decorated store windows depicting Victorian Guthrie will complete the setting. December 12 and 19, 5-9pm.
- A Candlelight Trolley Tour is a unique way to view Guthrie’s downtown area, a National Historic Landmark, sparkling with thousands of Christmas lights. December 1-23; 6pm, 7pm, 8pm.
- The Territorial Homes Tour features eight homes decorated in the style of the early 20th Century. Tickets, $15, available at the Chamber of Commerce (212 W Oklahoma) or at any of the tour site homes (see sidebar). December 12, 10am-4pm.
- The annual Pollard Theatre production of A Territorial Christmas Carol is an entertaining tradition. Tickets, $15-22, sell out each year so reservations should be made early. Call 405-282-2802 or visit ThePollard.org for schedule information. Held through December 21.
Other activities in Guthrie include the annual Journey to Bethlehem reenactment on December 5, 4-8pm, depicting the journey taken by Mary and Joseph for Jesus’ birth. Also, various concerts are planned throughout the month at the Double Stop Fiddle Shop.
Whether you decide to make the trip by Amtrak or car (horseback or buggy), the Guthrie Territorial Christmas Celebration is a wholesome trip back in time for any Christmas reveler. One-way train tickets are $7 and can be reserved online at Amtrack.com or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (Note: Departures from Oklahoma City are late evenings and Guthrie departure times are early morning, so overnight accommodations in Guthrie are recommended if taking the train).
For more information about the Territorial Christmas Celebration or nightly accommodations, contact the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce at 405-282-1947, 800-299-1889 or visit GuthrieOK.com.
Karen Mitchell, a lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, lives in Edmond with her husband, Mark, teenage son, Ryan, and one spoiled Welsh Corgi. Daughter, Megan, attends OSU in Stillwater.