A walk through York's holiday history

Jason Addy
York Dispatch
  • Downtown holiday walking tours are being offered Dec. 9, 10 and 17.

Yorkers will have a few more opportunities to join  Downtown Inc’s popular Walking Tour series, with the organization adding three yuletide-themed adventures this month.


The Downtown York Yuletide Walking Tours are being offered at 6:30 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m. Saturday and Saturday, Dec. 17. Friday’s tour is sold out, and Megan Feeser of Downtown Inc said she expects the other two walks to sell out as well.

The holiday tours will begin at the point of York’s founding 275 years ago in Center Square — now Continental Square — and take sightseers to several downtown historical displays, said local historian and tour guide Terrence “Dutchie” Downs.

Downs said he will take the tour to the William Goodridge Freedom Center on East Philadelphia Street; First Moravian Church on North Duke Street; and the York Water Co., which is celebrating its 200th anniversary, on East Market Street, along with a few other stops.

The tours will focus on the winter-season traditions of Yorkers and highlight several key points in the city’s holiday history, including the first candlelight service and the city’s first public Christmas tree, which Goodridge, a prominent African-American businessman, displayed in his home beginning around 1838, Downs said.

Downs said he also will take those on the tour through the story of how the Continental Congress observed the holidays when stationed in York in 1777.

Tickets for the tours are $20 each and can be purchased at Downtown Inc, 2 E. Market St., and through