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’Tis the Season

Festivities abound throughout Potomac as the holiday season gets into full swing

Dressed in 19th-century clothing and playing music of the same period on historically authentic instruments, the Gilmore Light Ensemble performed in the Great Falls Tavern while visitors sipped cider and ate cookies in one of many holiday-themed events that took place throughout Potomac last weekend.

The festivities at Great Falls Tavern made Saturday like many that the tavern used to see, according to Mark Myers, a Park Ranger at Great Falls.

“This type of thing used to be very common,” said Myers, referring to the days when Great Falls Tavern hosted boatmen and travelers on their way up and down the C&O Canal during its years as a commercial operation between 1832 and 1924. In those years, the tavern operated as a restaurant and hotel, as well as a home to the lockkeeper. Saturday, the tavern was decked out in holiday wreaths and garlands while several hundred visitors throughout the day enjoyed cookies, cider and music with Myers, the Gilmore Light Ensemble and volunteers wearing 19th-century clothing. In the back of the tavern Myers watched from behind a fictitious bar that displayed antique bottles filled with tea to complete the feel of a rustic tavern.

The event was “the last hurrah,” before the tavern undergoes extensive renovation to restore it to more closely resemble its days as an operational tavern according to Myers. Renovations are likely to begin in January.

Students, parents and teachers at the German School of Washington, D.C. enjoyed a holiday bazaar inside the school during the day on Saturday, where a wide range of holiday food and crafts were on sale. Many of the crafts were handmade by parents, according to Luz Gottstein, who volunteered at one of the booths on Saturday. At dusk the crowd went outside to enjoy the annual lantern parade for the elementary school students and families. Children paraded through the school’s courtyard behind a horse with their handmade lanterns.

Glen Echo Park’s Winter Wonderland featured a Holiday Art Show throughout the weekend featuring local artists who teach workshops at the park throughout the year, according to gallery assistant Caitlin Connelly. Jewelry, paintings and photographs were for sale in the Yellow Barn Studio and visitors enjoyed tours of the park and the first lighting of the park’s holiday lights.