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Take a festive stroll through historic Decatur

Posted on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Decatur, Ala. – The Albany and Old Decatur Historic Districts will present their annual Historic Decatur Christmas Tour on Saturday, December 14, 2013 where twelve homes and sites, trimmed in traditional decorations, will be open for viewing.  The self-guided tour will take place from 2 to 8 p.m., and along with the tour, the annual event offers holiday decorating tips, carriage rides, refreshments, and live holiday music, and this year’s event brings with it a Top 20 Event in the Southeast recognition.


The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has named this year’s Historic Decatur Christmas Tour a Top 20 event for December. STS is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism to its 12 member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information, visit www.southeasttourism.org


Residences in the Albany and Old Decatur Historic Districts are not normally open for public viewing except when a select number of homes open their doors during the annual holiday tour. This year’s tour features 12 stunning homes and sites each beautifully decorated with luminaries, fruit, greenery, and thousands of lights. Participating homes and sites include the Reeves-Brown-Reed House, the Vickery-Wascom House, the Gray-Frankson House, the Chrissinger-Arthur House, Vintage Faith Church, the Minor-Storey-Prestwood House, the Beason-Schuerer House, the Wert-Gebhart House, First United Methodist Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, The Old State Bank, and the Carnegie Visual Arts Center.


Along with the self-guided tour of homes, neighborhood churches will open their doors for inspirational concerts and refreshments. From 2 to 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church will present Nativities from Around the World and will offer refreshments.  Carillon Christmas music can be heard throughout the afternoon and evening at First Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church. Sponsored by Glee Interiors, carriage rides will be offered beginning at 2 p.m. at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center (weather permitting).


Local stylist and designer Billy Speegle will share some of his secrets for decorating for the holidays. His program Getting in the Spirit: Decorating for Christmas will be presented at Vintage Faith Church at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Using live greenery and fresh florals, Speegle will demonstrate how to create beautiful centerpieces, present ideas for stunning mantle treatments, and show how to design simple wreaths.


Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased in advance at the Decatur/Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bank Street Art and Antiques, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Tammy Eddy Antiques and Interiors, and Jimmy Smith Jewelers. On the day of the tour, tickets can be purchased at Jimmy Smith Jewelers, Decatur/Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Tammy Eddy Antiques and Interiors, and Bank Street Art and Antiques from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the Old State Bank, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, and First United Methodist Church from 2 to 7 p.m. Proceeds from the tour are used to preserve, protect and enhance the character and legacy of the historic neighborhoods.


Combined, the Old Decatur and Albany Historic Districts represent one of the finest and largest collections of Victorian and earlier 20th century craftsman and bungalow homes in Alabama. The homes date back, in some instances, to the early 1800s, while most were constructed around the turn of the 20th century.


For a schedule of events for this year’s Historic Decatur Christmas Tour and more information on the historic homes, visit www.decaturchristmastour.com.


Also on December 14th, the Riverwalk Yacht Club will host its annual Parade of Lights. The maritime event features boats of all shapes and sizes trimmed with lights, holiday themes, and other festive decorations. At 6 p.m., boats will parade out of the marina, illuminating Wheeler Lake in front of Rhodes Ferry Park. For more information, visit www.riverwalkyc.org.