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Christmases of the past featured at Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is celebrating the holiday season with some interactive theater, taking visitors back to what it was like to celebrate Christmas from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Organizers explained what people can expect when they walk through the doors of the Benjamin Harrison house.

“They’ll go room to room to see the theater performances,” said Whitney Ball, special events and marketing manager. “It’s a very intimate performance for people to see and just learning about different stories like World War I.”

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is also offering a variety of interactive performances and tours during the month of December.

Wednesday through Sunday, they will offer their “‘Twas the Night Before” performance for the fourth straight year.

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One performance sets the scene in 1888, before Christmas trees became a part of holiday tradition in the White House.

During the play, President Harrison, his family and the household staff will be shown at home for the holidays. Excited for Christmas Day, they will be wrapping presents, chatting about the upcoming move to Washington, whether there will be a Christmas tree in the White House, and personally offering their good wishes to you and yours for the holidays.

The interactive theater experience is for all ages. Visitors can sip hot cider, enjoy carolers and meet holiday figures from traditions and folklore.

Randall Newsome talked with one of the performers who plan to be in the house. He talked about why sharing Christmas in 1914 from the perspective of a World War I soldier is so special to him.

“For me, I’m a history buff, and I just enjoy getting other people interested in history,” said volunteer actor Tony May. “(We’re) telling exciting stories and showing that history isn’t some dull sort of thing. It’s fun.”

“‘Twas the Night Before”: Dec. 12-14, beginning at 6 p.m., Dec. 15, beginning at 2 p.m.

Click here to get your tickets.

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