Archive for Thursday, December 7, 2006

Homes for the holiday: The tour is ready

December 7, 2006

A holiday favorite is returning to Eudora this year, complete with trimmings and cheer.

The Eudora Holiday Home Tour, scheduled to run from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, will feature five homes decorated with holiday finery.

"People enjoy seeing other peoples' homes," Eudora Chamber of Commerce member Lori Fritzel said. "People also love to show off their homes at Christmas time."

Fritzel said each of the five houses on the tour will be special.

One house will feature 250 Santa figurines. Another house was designated by an area newspaper as "The House to View." But what Fritzel said she's really looking forward to seeing is the Victorian-style Pilla house.

"The community loves to see the Pilla house at Christmas because of its historic value."

Another feature of the Holiday Home Tour is Larry and Loretta Gantenbein's house. Gantenbein said what made her house special was the 17 differently decorated Christmas trees set up throughout the house. She said she had a tree in her house to pique everyone's interest, including a Kansas University Jayhawk tree, an Americana tree (decorated with red, white and blue ornaments and lights) and a Volkswagen tree.

But Gantenbein said her Christmas decorations were not limited to trees.

"We're (kerosene) lamp collectors, and I'm a nun collector -- I have approximately 600 statues of nuns," Gantenbein said. "When people come over for the tour, we turn off the lights and the whole tour is given with kerosene lamps."

Fritzel said some of the homes will have a guided tour while others will feature more of an open house.

Gantenbein said members of her family help with her open-house style tour.

"Our family tells a bit to people about the trees in their room and its theme," she said.

The homes tour costs $10 per person, and money raised will benefit the Eudora Fish statue project, which is the centerpiece of Eudora's 2007 sesquicentennial celebration.

In addition, everyone who tours each of the five houses will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from C&S Market, 1402 Church St.

Fritzel said tickets could be purchased in advance from Kaw Valley Bank, 739 Main St.; Mutual Savings, 801 Main St.; Byrne's Pharmacy, 101 W. 10th St.; and Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St. She also said last-minute tickets could be purchased at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at City Hall.

In addition, the Eudora Area Historical Society will be selling Eudora statue T-shirts at City Hall the day of the tour and the Eudora Chamber of Commerce will provide refreshments.

Gantenbein said she loved the holiday tour and decorating her house, and she encouraged others to visit during the tour.

"Regardless if people come over or not, I decorate my house like this anyway," she said. "I just love decorating the house."

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