Hughlett's Tavern Snow

Both children and adults are invited to do their Christmas shopping at “Golden Village Christmas” in Heathsville on Saturday, December 5. This annual celebration of Christmastide, taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern, will also include caroling, free hot mulled cider, a bake sale and visits with Santa.

Outside on the Tavern Green, a variety of vendors will be selling jewelry, knitted items, face masks, pottery, and seasonal music CD’s. Freshly-made decorative door swags and other holiday greenery will be for sale by Tavern volunteers. Shady Brook Farm Alpacas will have super warm alpaca-made products, and is bringing an alpaca for the kids to pet. Other vendors include Whitley’s Gourmet Peanuts, Mooch’s BBQ Sauce, Garners Produce, and the Northumberland Lions Club, selling fruitcake and brooms.

Inside the Tavern, shoppers will find the “Heritage Arts Center” Gift Shoppe, which offers unique artisan-crafted gifts for sale, plus several artisans at work in their studios.

Upstairs, the Spinners & Weavers’ Studio will be open and guild members will be demonstrating their skills. Downstairs, the Quilt Guild will be in residence in their studio. Ye Olde Bake Shoppe will be located just outside the back door, selling delicious home-made cakes, candy, breads, pies and cookies, all made by the Tavern volunteers.

Children have their own special shopping area inside the “Tavern Meeting Building”, which is located directly behind the Tavern. For the princely sum of $1 per gift, kids ages 4 to 12 will be able to buy gifts for all the members of their family. Tavern elves will help them select appropriate gifts and then wrap the gifts as well. Because of current health restrictions, the children’s shopping is by appointment only this year. Face masks are required. For more information on this activity, contact the Tavern.

A lovely antique property that dates back to the late 1700’s, the Tavern will be decked out for the season that day. Strolling carolers will serenade shoppers while they savor a free cup of hot mulled cider. Santa will be waiting inside the “Carriage House” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to greet children from behind his plexiglass shield. Bring your own camera for picture taking. Face masks are required.

Then follow the smoke to the Tavern’s forge, where the Tavern Blacksmith Guild will be hard at work. The Tavern Woodworking Guild will be in residence at their colonial era workshop at the “Carriage House”.

Members of the Antique Auto Club of America and the Northern Neck Corvette Club will be cruising-in with their antique and classic cars. The Northumberland Public Library’s “Tech Mobile” will make an appearance. Free books will be given to all children who check it out.

The Tavern’s food concession will be offering refreshments for the hungry. Located just inside the “Tavern Meeting Building,” its menu will include breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs and chili dogs, chips, and hot & cold beverages, plus sweet treats. For a leisurely sit-down lunch, come back inside the Tavern to the Tavern Cafe´, where the volunteers of the Tavern Culinary Guild will be serving homemade soups, fresh-baked breads, quiche´, hot sandwiches, and desserts.

And don’t leave without getting a free candy cane from one of the Tavern’s costumed docents.

All shoppers should wear face masks and practice social distancing for safety sake. Hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations.

An all-volunteer non-profit organization, Rice’s Hotel / Hughlett’s Tavern is located at 73 Monument Place, just off Route 360 behind the old Northumberland Courthouse in Heathsville. The Tavern Café and Gift Shoppe are open year-round, Thursday thru Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.RHHTFoundationinc.org or call 804-580-3377.

Christmastide in Heathsville will be an event to remember