Every holiday season for about the past 30 years, the Christmas Tour of Homes has been a popular attraction in Mount Airy — but it’s been put on hold for 2015, with an alternate activity planned instead.
The Mount Airy Restoration Foundation has long spearheaded the homes tour — “this year we’re not, and it’s breaking my heart,” Betty Wright, longtime leader of that organization, said in announcing a pair of “high tea” gatherings.
Yet this doesn’t mean the end of the Christmas Tour of Homes, just a one-year hiatus for what has become a holiday staple in Mount Airy.
“We’re going to next year,” Wright said of plans by the restoration group to resurrect the tour for the 2016 holiday season. “It will continue next year.”
Wright explained that the decision to not hold the tour of homes this year was due to a combination of factors, including group members having to devote time to recent weather-related damage at the historic William Alfred Moore House.
That house is the oldest in Mount Airy, the upkeep of which is supported by proceeds from the tour, traditionally the largest fundraiser of the year for the restoration group.
About seven different sites typically are part of the self-guided tour, which are decorated in holiday finery and open to the public during an entire weekend.
High tea plans
The cancellation of the tour of homes for this year doesn’t mean area residents will go empty-handed as far as a holiday activity celebrating local history and architecture.
Wright added that the Mount Airy Restoration Foundation is honored to host plans for the first-ever Holiday High Tea each afternoon during the weekend of Dec. 5-6.
“This is going to take the place of the tour of homes,” she said.
The Moore House, located at 301 Moore Ave., will be open for high tea from 2 to 5 p.m. on both Dec. 5-6. Musical entertainment is to be provided by local artists and students, and the house will be “beautifully decorated for the holiday season” by three local garden clubs, according to a foundation announcement.
These include Garden Gate Garden Club, Modern Gardeners and Mountain View Garden Club.
In devising the high tea events, Mount Airy Restoration Foundation members say they will be continuing a tradition of preserving local history while also bringing new and exciting events to downtown Mount Airy.
High tea tickets are available at the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce on North Main Street or from any board member of the restoration organization. The contact number for that group is 336-786-4512.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.