After canceling home tours and offering alternative activities such as outdoor lighting displays due to the pandemic, local organizations are once again hosting this favorite holiday activity.
Strasburg Holiday Home Tour
When: Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hosted by: Strasburg Heritage Society
Ticket Info: Tickets are $20 through December 1 and can be purchased at Main Street Antiques and Speckled Hen. Online sales are available at strasburgheritagesociety.org. Day-of tickets can be purchased at First Presbyterian Church (101 S. Decatur St.) for $25.
Itinerary: This year’s tour will feature seven decorated homes that date from the 1700s to present day, as well as a barn that serves as an art studio. Paintings will be on display as will stage craft from Sight & Sound Theatre. In addition, lunch fare, craft vendors and a greens sale will be located at First Presbyterian Church. For details, visit strasburgheritagesociety.org.
About: The Strasburg Heritage Society was founded in 1972 with the intent to “preserve, collect and interpret the history” of the town. Over the last 50 years, the organization has amassed archives consisting of postcards, photographs, ephemera, furniture, artifacts, documents and more. It also owns three historic properties along South Decatur Street. The organization hosts a lecture series and annual tours of gardens and homes. New members are always welcome.
Marietta Candlelight Tour
When: Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Hosted by: Marietta Restoration Associates
Ticket Info: Tickets can be purchased at local businesses through December 3 for $20 (visit the website for locations). Online purchases can be made at mariettarestoration.org. Day-of tickets can be purchased at Donegal Intermediate School, First National Escape Bank and Old Town Hall Museum for $25.
Itinerary: This year’s tour will feature eight private homes and various historic buildings, all decorated for the holidays. The home tour is the centerpiece of an annual community event that includes activities such as outdoor decorating, a tree-lighting ceremony, an artist showcase and more. For details, visit mariettarestoration.org.
About: Marietta Restoration Associates (MRA) was founded in 1965 with the intent of “preserving the cultural and architectural heritage” of Marietta. MRA takes pride in the fact that the tour of homes, now in its 56th year, is one of the oldest in the state. The quality of the tour and the generosity of homeowners continue to attract patrons from the Mid-Atlantic region. Proceeds are used to restore and maintain historic buildings in the Marietta area, including Union Meeting House, Musselman/Vesta Furnace, Old Town Hall/Museum, First National Escape Bank and the Marietta Theatre. New members are always welcome.
Manheim Holiday Tour of Homes
When: Sunday, December 4, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Hosted by: The Women’s Club of Manheim
Ticket Info: Tickets can be purchased from club members, as well as at Longenecker’s Hardware, Shaub’s Dry Cleaning and Divine Consign for $10. Day-of tickets can be purchased at tour stops for $12. For details, visit facebook.com/WomensClubOfManheim.
Itinerary: The tour will feature six homes, two businesses and the Hope Episcopal Church, where scenes from Sight & Sound’s feature film, I Heard the Bells (debuting in December), were filmed. The home tour is part of a weekend-long community event, Christmas in Manheim, that features local performers, caroling, Santa, food vendors, open houses at businesses, and a tree-lighting ceremony on Saturday evening. Visit facebook.com/WomensClubOfManheim for tour details and manheimchamber.com for other events.
About: The Women’s Club of Manheim, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, is comprised of Manheim-area residents whose goal is to support and carry out service projects for the benefit of the community. Proceeds from club activities are earmarked for Christmas gifts for families in need, scholarships, grants and assisting other organizations such as the local food bank. Women over the age of 20 are welcome to contact the club for membership information.
Decorate Lititz: The Holiday Decorating Contest
When: December 9-24 (daily until 9:30 p.m.)
Hosted/sponsored by: Laurel Avenue Lights, Venture Lititz and Lititz Springs Park
Ticket Info: This is a free, drive-at-your-own-pace event.
Itinerary: Launched as a way to celebrate the holidays social-distancing style, the decorating contest provided those dealing with cabin fever a way to get outdoors and celebrate the holidays during the pandemic. This year, the three aforementioned hosts/sponsors are joining forces to continue the popular event. Homes and businesses in the 17543 zip code were welcome to participate. The itinerary will be unveiled online in early December. Winners will be announced December 26. For details, visit lititzpa.com.
About: Venture Lititz is an organization that aims to preserve the town’s unique character and history, while carrying it forward in a way that “honors its past and respects the people who live and work within its borders.” Donations and volunteers are always appreciated: lititzpa.com.
Lititz Springs Park, which is privately owned by the Lititz Moravian Congregation, continues to serve as a community hub and is probably best known as the site of one of the country’s longest-running Fourth of July celebrations. Donations and volunteers are always appreciated: lititzspringspark.org.
Laurel Avenue Lights has become a must-see destination at holiday time. Located at 659 Laurel Avenue, it is the creation of Rich and Wendy Motz, who have been decorating their home’s exterior for years. About seven years ago, visitors began gifting the Motzes with donations, which they in-turn donated to the Lititz Fire Company. The tradition continues each season. For details, visit facebook.com/LaurelAvenueLights.