The Gardner Historical Museum is decorated for Christmas. Submitted photo

Charlie Troutner
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Historical Museum is hosting its first annual Christmas Homes Tour on Saturday, Dec.1, 2012. The tour of five vintage homes is from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The museum, located at 204 W. Main Street, will remain open until 5 p.m. that day.
The historical homes — located at 133 W. Main, 223 W. Main, 231 W. Main and 145 W. Park — are all within a short walking distance of the museum. They will be easily recognizable by signs at each home.
Tickets are available in advance at the museum, or can be purchased the day of the event at any of the homes on the tour, or at the museum. Each home will have museum representatives on hand to present the tour to the public.
The main Christmas tree in the tour homes and the museum will be elaborately decorated, reflecting their time in history, and in addition, there will be special decorations of the homeowners and of other gifted decorators.
The museum itself will be lavishly decorated throughout for Christmas, and will provide refreshments throughout the day as well as having a holiday gift bazaar.
Museum souvenirs will also be available for purchase, as well as souvenir Homes Tour cups available for purchase to the first one hundred visitors. There will be live musicians in the parlor of the museum playing holiday favorites from noon to 4 p.m.
Solene Hollingshead, co-chairperson of the Christmas Homes Tour event, along with Marcia Gay, is very excited about the museum hosting this
first-time endeavor.
“I am looking forward to our homes tour and hope to have many people in line for the tour and be thrilled and anxious to do it again”, Hollingshead said.
She also said that she realized a few months ago that while other local communities have homes tours such as this, Gardner did not have any planned for this holiday season. Because there are many historic houses in Gardner, she felt like a vintage homes tour would provide an excellent opportunity for the public to experience local history and to be able to get a glimpse and feel of an old-fashioned Christmas.
This event will also serve as a fundraiser for the museum as it is funded completely by donations, museum memberships, and souvenir sales. The Gardner Historical Museum staff would like to see their Christmas Homes Tour event embraced by the public and stir interest in local history.
For any questions concerning this event or about the museum in general, please contact the museum at (913)856-4447. Regular museum hours are Saturday through Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on Fridays from 4p.m. to 7p.m. The museum is also available for private and group tours at other hours.