Schuyler Mansion hosts a last hurrah for the holidays

It might not sound like the most jubilant setting for a party, but Mavigliano said the story is simply background. If visitors want to know who re-enactors are or what was going on at the time, they'll get answers.

"People ask a lot of questions, from 'What's that' to 'Who are you?'" Mavigliano said. "We're trying to teach history in a fun way."

There is more traditional fun on tap, too. The celebration will feature holiday food, live music, bonfires and wassail toasts. Mavigliano said one of the highlights is an 18th century refreshment table featuring wines, juices and other items served in Schuyler's time. The mansion has had the table at other celebrations, but it was more for show than for congregating. That's different this year; people will be encouraged to spend time at the table.

The second floor boasts a salon, the era's equivalent of a ballroom, Mavigliano said. There will be dancing and a king and queen will be crowned. Downstairs, meanwhile, will host the "drunken wassailers" and the live music.

Whereas the mansion typically takes visitors through on guided tours, the celebration will have an open house format, Mavigliano said. People are welcome to walk through and mingle at their own pace.

The celebration wouldn't be possible without the re-enactors who come from the Capital District and beyond. Mavigliano said most belong to regional re-enactment groups that portray certain militias. Others are local actors.

"They're instrumental in helping us," she said.

The celebration is one of the mansion's biggest draws, along with its July 4 program. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and $2 for children 12 and older. The mansion is at 32 Catherine St. in Albany.""

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