On Dec. 4, 2016, beginning at 4pm in the historic village of Barren Creek Springs –  also known as Mardela Springs! — the joint efforts of  the town’s historic societies and Volunteer Fire Department will once again welcome visitors to the Annual Christmas Heritage Tour.   Since 2006 this tradition of celebrating “Christmas Present” with reminders of “Christmas Past” has become a highlight of the season.  Led by the members of the Adkins Historical Museum and Complex and the Westside Historical Society, and with great support from the Mardela Volunteer Fire Dept., the goal is to recall the true meaning of Christmas – of simpler joys of friendship, celebrating with family get-togethers, sharing happy times, listening to the music of the season and being inspired by the real meaning and reason for the holiday.

So in that spirit there will be beautiful decorations to see throughout the town, horse-drawn wagon and tram rides, musicians and singers all around the village, and entertainment everywhere.  A program with a walking route marked with special sites to see and visit  will be available at the Fire Department, where vendors will be set up to offer all kinds of special goodies, and food also will be available – including the Eastern Shore specialties of oyster fritters and Chicken Salad!  The Emmanuel Methodist Church also will be selling food, and  warm drinks and tasty sweets also will be sold at the historic Brattan-Taylor General Store.  Santa will be arriving on a Fire Truck (giving the reindeer time to rest-up for the Big Night!).

In keeping with the historic theme of the event, the Barren Creek Springs Church, built in 1842 and lovingly restored by Westside Historical Society will be open, with several musicians giving free “mini-concerts” throughout the evening.  Nearby, the Barren Creek Spring House, recalling the town’s days as a popular mineral water spa town, also can be visited.    Also open and welcoming visitors will be the Barren Creek Heritage Museum, 413 Main St., with special Christmas exhibits and other exhibits telling the story of the beginnings and growth of the western part of Wicomico County from the 17th century through the mid-20th century.  In The Eyeful Hummingbird, an art and antiques shop on Fire Prevention Road, Santa’s Workshop and some of his elves will be set up to help the kiddies make special take-home (free) Christmas crafts! The Olympian 4-H Club members will be on hand to give the elves a hand!  In the Adkins Complex of  a number of restored buildings recalling the town’s busy Victorian-era past,  visitors can tour the turn-of-the-century Whitelock House, General Store, English One-room School, Young’s Family Farmhouse, the Cannery with  model trains and special exhibits of the town’s history.  A  walk-in Petting Zoo for children also will be set up on the grounds of the Complex.

There is no admission to any of the sites or events during the evening.  Parking will be available on Station Street, near the Fire House, and around town on some streets, but guests are asked please not to block driveways.  Also, since some streets are not as well lit, a good flashlight might be advisable. The Tour begins at 4 and will close at 7pm.  For more information regarding setting up as a vendor, contact Carolyn Adkins at 410-883-3139;  for other questions contact either Westside Historical Soc., or 410-726-8047, or Adkins Historical Complex , D.  Kenney at 410-726-8544 or email at .