Frequently asked questions

Is there a fee to attend the event?

While there is no entry fee to the Olde Tyme Christmas celebration, there are certain programs that do require registration and a fee. Those will be listed as such on our schedule of events, with links, when possible, to register and pay ahead of your visit.

The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park requires an entry fee to access the Park, which includes free access to the Park shuttles. You can find out more information at nps.gov/hafe

Is there a fee for the horse and wagon ride?

No, the horse and wagon ride is free. Just make sure you stop by White Hall Tavern on Potomac Street to reserve your time. Rides are very popular and slots fill up fast!

Is there a fee to use the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park shuttle bus?

The shuttle bus travels between the Park Visitor's Center on Shoreline Drive to the HFNHP Bus Stop on Shenandoah Street. The shuttle is free with entry to the Park ($15 per private vehicle). You can find more information at www.nps.gov/hafe

Who hosts Olde Tyme Christmas? Isn't it the National Park?

Olde Tyme Christmas is a historical event (49 years now!) that was begun by a group of Harpers Ferry residents and business owners in 1970. Today, the event is planned and executed by the Harpers Ferry & Bolivar Merchants Association, in partnership with many co-sponsors. It is held during the first two weekends in December.

During the first weekend of Olde Tyme Christmas, the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park hosts a holiday event titled "Captain Flagg's U.S. Quartermaster City" which depicts the town during Christmas in 1864. During this event, you will see "Living History" interpreters dressed in 19th century clothes, giving demonstrations and guiding historical programs.

Both events take place together during the first weekend in December, and HFNHP and HF&BMA work together to welcome our many visitors who wish to step back in time in Harpers Ferry.

When is the Victorian Dance held? The one with the ladies in big skirts?

Everyone loves to see those crinoline skirts twirling around a dance floor! We don't blame you, it's a beautiful sight.

The Ball is hosted by the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and takes place on Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend of Olde Tyme Christmas. You can find times through this website's Schedule of Events tab, located at the top of the page.

Can we bring our pet?

While pets are welcome year-round in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar, including in the National Park, they are not allowed on shuttles, inside museum exhibits, St. Peter's Catholic Church, or in most shops and restaurants. Because the majority of the Olde Tyme Christmas programs are held indoors, we recommend you let your pet sit this one out.

What about service dogs?

ADA Service Dogs are welcome anywhere that their handlers are allowed entry. Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA and are welcome anywhere that pets are allowed entry.

What time do doors open?

Olde Tyme Christmas is an indoor/outdoor event that takes place throughout both towns of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar. Most shops will be open by 10AM, and you can see a schedule of events on our website by clicking the Schedule of Events link on the banner above.

I'm an artist/vendor and would like to set up a table. Can I do this?

The Harpers Ferry & Bolivar Merchants Association does not host artists or vendors during Olde Tyme Christmas. If you are interested in displaying your wares, you might try contacting individual businesses to see if you can feature your products there.

We want to do it all! Where is the best place to stay the night in Harpers Ferry?

Harpers Ferry and Bolivar have ample choice of B&Bs, cottages, and hotel rooms to choose from. You can find a map and a list of accommodation choices by clicking on Plan Your Visit then Map of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar on the banner at the top of this page.

Where can I print out a schedule of events?

Once the schedule is finalized there is a printable PDF version of our schedule of events located on this website. Just click on the Schedule of Events link on the banner at the top of this page, then choose Printable Schedule.

The PDF version of the schedule is abbreviated and does not include detailed program descriptions or location street addresses.