The 3-Minute Interview: Melissa Wood

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Virginia,People,Kristen Byrne
Wood is spokeswoman for Mount Vernon, and has been with the estate in Alexandria for six years. Each year, George Washington's home hosts daytime and nighttime holiday programs to celebrate the holidays.

What events are taking place at Mount Vernon for the holiday season?

We have two events here. There's Christmas at Mount Vernon, which is a day event that runs every day until Jan. 6. Then we also have Mount Vernon by Candlelight, which will take place this weekend and next weekend. During the day we have a gingerbread mansion created by former White House chef Roland Mesnier. We also have chocolate-making demonstrations where visitors can see how 18th century chocolate was made.

Why is the third floor open for the holidays?

The holidays are a slower season so it's easier to accommodate visitors upstairs. It's also a nice touch for the holidays. The third floor holds the room where Martha Washington moved to after George Washington died.

What is your favorite holiday event?

I love our Mount Vernon by Candlelight event because it's the only time you can encounter characters from Washington's world. Lady Washington will greet people in the dining room and show off her great cake that took 40 eggs to make. There will also be hot cider, cookies and caroling for the visitors.

Why do you think Mount Vernon is one of the top places to catch the holiday spirit?

We have something for everyone here. I think there's an aspect of all of our events that appeals to children, young adults and elderly. I think it's great that they get to experience the holidays while learning more about George Washington.

What does George Washington's rye whiskey taste like?

I've been told it's very sweet and very strong. It uses his original recipe and is distilled three miles from the mansion.

- Kristen Byrne

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