TAMPA, Fla. - The Victorian Christmas Stroll at the Plant Museum started 40 years ago as a three-night Christmas event to create awareness and get the community to come into the museum and experience an old-fashioned holiday tradition. Over the past four decades, it has grown into 23 days of extravagance and grandeur.
"The museum staff has spent over two weeks decorating every crevice of the museum," shared Lindsay Huban the museum’s membership manager.
The museum has 144 Christmas trees with some being two inches tall and others 14 feet tall. Each tree in the museum has been decorated differently.
"You’re going to see everything from sand dollars and starfish to antique ornaments to baseballs, books, anything you can imagine," Huban stated. "We’ve done it all."
Each room also has a different theme, and as visitors wander and explore, museum staff hopes they learn something about the history of Tampa and the famous guests who stayed here.
"When we’re getting ready for the Victorian Stroll, when we’re planning our rooms, we’re thinking about what the people of the time period read," Huban said. "What did they do for fun? And how can we turn that into fabulous Christmas displays."
There is one of the first-ever artificial trees of the era on display.
"In one of the rooms in the museum, you're going to see an antique goose feather tree," shared Huban, "The whole thing is over 100 years old."
The tree is assembled from sticks covered in goose feathers and brushed with green paint to resemble an evergreen.
Other rooms showcase arts and crafts from that time period, and new this year is a Victorian-style dress done in paper crafting made by Tampa’s own Susan Williams.
Huban enjoys seeing families at the Victorian Stroll, especially when she hears grandparents say, "Hey look at that! I had one of those when I was a kid. It really brings the holiday season home."
The Victorian Stroll runs through December 23.
LINK: Learn more about the Victorian Stroll at https://www.plantmuseum.com/events/victorian-christmas-stroll.
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