The Possum Ridge model train exhibit will be on display through December at the Two Mississippi Museums. Image: MDAH

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is canceling this year’s Christmas by Candlelight Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but offering opportunities to enjoy the holiday decorations at several JXN sites. 

At the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, the historic section will be decorated in traditional holiday style by Scott Reed and Petal Pushers of West Point, and is open for tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday and Saturday, December 4–5, and Monday–Wednesday, December 7–9. Tours will take place every half-hour and reservations must be made in advance through Eventbrite. As a precaution, a maximum of ten visitors per time slot will be allowed in the mansion and face coverings will be required. 

This year’s theme, “Christmas at the Mansion: Honoring Those on the Front Lines,” pays tribute to first responders and frontline workers. First Lady Elee Reeves encourages the public to write thank you notes to those who have provided essential care, protection and service to our state throughout this year. 

The first floor of the Old Capitol Museum will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday and Saturday, December 4–5, and Monday–Wednesday, December 7–9. Enjoy holiday music and archival video footage in the rotunda. A fun scavenger hunt for children will be offered. Garlands will suspend from the rotunda railing on the second floor. The exterior of the building will be decorated with wreaths. Several Christmas trees will stand in the rotunda and candles will be placed in some of the building’s windows. Face coverings required

At the Mississippi State Capitol, the building will open throughout December, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. A twenty-foot Christmas tree spanning up to the second floor will delight all upon entry. Festive greenery will adorn the cast-iron balustrades with red poinsettias along the grand staircase. The Capitol will close on Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25, and Thursday, December 31. Face coverings are required.

At the Two Mississippi Museums, the Possum Ridge model train exhibit will be on display through December. Regular museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m. The museums are open free of charge on Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. Safety precautions at museums require all visitors to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines. The museums will close on Christmas Day, December 25. 

Eudora Welty House & Garden tours take place 9 & 11 a.m. and 1 & 3 p.m., Tuesday–Friday, and 1 & 3 p.m. on Saturday. Purchase tickets by phone at 601-353-7762 or by email The museum will close on Christmas day, December 25. 

Finally, at the William Winter State Archives and History building (closed November 26–28, December 24–December 26, and December–January 1), appointments are recommended for research in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building doe to COVID-19 precautions. Available appointment times are Monday–Friday at 9–11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., and 2–4 p.m.  Call 601-576-6837 to schedule your time. Patrons without an appointment will be accommodated as space allows. Appointment times for Saturdays will be 8:15–10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.