Remembering 40 Years of Candlelight

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time living in the 70s and 80s. The 1970s and 1980s. And for once, that’s not a painful typo sometimes made by history museums—nope, I’ve been looking at our recent past.

This year marks the 40th Candlelight. Round numbers tend to excite us history types. It’s not often that we take the time to reflect on our institutional history, and it’s even rarer for one single event to last so long. So, we’re having some fun with it—we’ve ordered a special anniversary ornament (featuring Nip and Tuck), Barbara is making special anniversary clothespin dolls, and we’re putting together an exhibit called Candlelight Memories.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve scanned over 300 photos and slides from our institutional archives. I’ve looked at past programs, committee meeting minutes, and newspaper articles. I’ve marveled at the hair styles, been amazed at watching familiar buildings being rebuilt or restored, and have determined that we’ve always had the cutest kids in Dallas visit our museum.

But there are certain things that can’t be found in our archive, and honestly, it’s what makes this event special. We know there are families that have made Candlelight a part of their family’s holiday traditions. We know that there are visitors that remember coming to Candlelight as a child and are now bringing their children. We know that there are some really wonderful stories out there that we can’t even imagine. But what we need are those stories.

So, we’ve been asking our visitors, volunteers, friends, and now you, to share those stories. If you have photos, scan them in and send them to us. If you have stories, get those in writing. There will be opportunities to share your stories at Candlelight, but we want to gather as many as possible now. Below are the guidelines. No story is too small! While the exhibit will be perfectly lovely with DHV’s memories, I think it will be far more special with your memories too.

You can participate in several ways:

· Submit family photos taken at Candlelight.

· Share a favorite memory on the Candlelight page on Facebook.

· Send favorite stories directly to staff.

· Write in the memory book at Candlelight.

· We’ll have memory cards in the Saloon throughout the Fall. Fill one out while sipping a root beer!

If you have any items relating to Candlelight (old programs, crafts, ornaments etc), please contact staff directly!

To Submit a Photo:

· Please scan your photo at a high resolution (minimum 300 dpi) and e-mail to Please do not send us the original photo.

· Include the following information:

o Your Name

o Names of the people in the photo

o The Year (an estimate is fine)

o Any special information about the photo

To be considered for the exhibit, we MUST receive your photo by Wednesday, November 30.

If you don’t have access to a scanner, contact Melissa and we’ll figure something out!

Memory Sparks

· What is your first memory of Candlelight?

· Any memorable weather experiences?

· Why is Candlelight part of your family’s traditions?

· What are some of the biggest changes in the event that you’ve noticed?

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