This month’s #builtheritage twitter chat focused on preservation and the holidays. There was an abundance of good festive promotion ideas, examples of seasonal events, and
First portion of the chat focused on the question, How can you use the holidays to promote your historic site? Some of the proposed activities included:
- Displaying old holiday photos on site or on social media
- Holding seasonally themed events -teas, crafts, tours, etc
- Holiday snacks!
- Holiday theater stage at the heritage site, eg. the Christmas Carol
- Combine with other local events your activities with other local holiday events
- For example, the distillery district in Toronto christmas market, draws thousands
- Watson’s Mill in Ottawa hosted a Christmas Fair and Art Show this past wknd.
- As a backdrop to other heritage events, or as a venue for private holiday functions
- Family ornament decorating activities
Second question of the chat, what is the most successful holiday program you have been to/organized at an historic site? Favourites included:
- Victorian Christmas at Dundurn Castle in Hamiilton
- The Grand Illumination in Colonial Williamsburg
- The Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village.
- @KyleGonyou recalled being taken to beakfast with Santa at Fanshawe Pioneer Village
- Alight at Night in Upper Canada Villag
- Advent of Jazz held at St. Paul, oldest black congregation in Dallas, Texas, which was built by freed slaves.
- Biltmore’s candlelit self-guided tours with live music and fires blazing.
- Combine moonlight madness with other activities such as skating, caroling, etc.
- Hold a Christmas festival downtown, and encourage all shops to decorate windows
- The main streets are just perfect for decorating – light it up!
- Provide more parking
- Ask the community what they want
The chat concluded with a discussion of How do you make sure your holiday activities are as inclusive (and/or multicultural) as possible?
- Heritage groups, municipalities should encourage all constituencies to celebrate their holiday traditions.
- Having personalized items that can be customizable for any holiday
- The new inclusive is to do lots of niche activities
- Let the historic places speak for themselves. The best places evolve and change with the times if we let them
There was also some discussion about what topics participants would like to see in the 2012 #builtheritage chats. Some suggestions included focusing on main street design issues, preservation 2.0, or the integration of youth in heritage groups.