All dressed up for the Christmas Homes Tour

Colonial Williamsburg homes and holiday décor will be on display during the 59th Annual Christmas Homes Tour presented by Green Spring Garden Club, Inc. on Dec. 1.

Five properties will be featured during this year’s tour, including the Colonial Williamsburg Stable. It’s been 10 years since the stable was last a part of the tour.

Guests will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the stable from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the tour, which will highlight animals that are part of Colonial Williamsburg’s Rare Breeds program such as the Cleveland Bay horses and the Leicester Longwool sheep.

Colonial Williamsburg’s official mascots, two Briards named Liberty and Justice, will also be on hand at the stables. In addition, four carriages will be decorated and on display, three of which have been donated for the event by The Gorman family, who reside in the Timson house.

“I’m looking forward to showing off what we do here and why what we do is so important,” said Paul Bennett, director of coach and livestock for the Colonial Williamsburg Stable.

Other properties involved in the Christmas Homes Tour are The Unicorn’s Horn, The Robert Carter House, The Reeves Home, and The Timson House. The Reeves Home on Scotland Street in the Peacock Hill area of Williamsburg is new to the tour. The house, built in 2013, is a large Southern style estate home owned by Lee and Tara McClary Reeves. All three levels of the home will be showcased during the tour.

Green Spring Garden Club’s 50 members plus 300 volunteers work diligently throughout the event, arranging holiday floral and greenery décor for the homes as part of the tour and greeting and educating guests. Close to 1,000 visitors are expected to take part in the tour.

“All the properties are decorated with floral arrangements that are period appropriate and enhance the homes,” said Deanna Isemann with Green Spring Garden Club. “I am looking forward to interacting with our guests and seeing how much they are enjoying and learning from the tour. The guests are inquisitive about small details like colors and materials used, and I am always amazed at how patient they are with the time that is necessary to navigate through some of the historical homes.”

Cathy Howard, who lives in The Unicorn’s Horn, is also looking forward to the tour. This is the second time she’s opened her home for it.

“The Christmas Homes tour is just a nice opportunity for people to see some of the houses in Colonial Williamsburg that they’ve never been in,” Howard said. “Seeing someone’s private home and how they live is interesting. This is just my way of giving back for having the opportunity to live here. I just feel so blessed to live in Colonial Williamsburg.”

Want to go?

The 59th Annual Christmas Homes Tour will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event, or $10 to tour a single home. For more information, visit greenspringgardenclub.org.

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