- September 16, 2020
This marks a special and milestone year for Victorian Christmas. It is the 20th Anniversary of the event that began with founding members Nan Young, Ted Lyons Jr., and Gloria Miele. Early on they saw the opportunity to share the beauty and elegance of our historic district with the public. Since that time, the event
This marks a special and milestone year for Victorian Christmas. It is the 20th Anniversary of the event that began with founding members Nan Young, Ted Lyons Jr., and Gloria Miele. Early on they saw the opportunity to share the beauty and elegance of our historic district with the public. Since that time, the event has come a long way.
According to Vicki Fischer, a member of the Victorian Christmas Committee, the purpose of the event remains the same. They want to increase public awareness and appreciation of the exceptional architectural heritage in the Historic District and Williamsport proper.
“In addition to this, we want to educate the public (and that consists of all ages) by instilling knowledge and appreciation of Victorian style and the importance of its preservation on future generations,” Fischer told “Webb Weekly.”
The Victorian Christmas Committee presents the event under the auspices of Preservation Williamsport. Each year they have what they call a theme or educational focus, and they highlight this by having an educational speaker. This year it was decided to call upon the Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol.” The resulting theme and focus of their educational talk this year is: “The Spirit of Downtown Williamsport – Past, Present, and Future.”
“We are very excited to have Thad. Meckley, a former Preservation Williamsport President, and founding member, as our educational speaker on Friday evening at 6 p.m., Fischer said. The talk will be at the YWCA gym.
As Thad states, “Like the Christmas classic, Williamsport’s story is one of perseverance, hope and the rebirth that resonates today, possessing life and business lessons that are every bit as relevant as they were in Victorian England. Giving thanks to the forefathers and business owners from the past, we will honor those individuals and business and organizations that made the Holidays special when it was the custom to Shop Downtown, just like the current SHOP LOCAL movement is doing.”
This free event will be well worth attending. They have extended this Victorian Christmas event to include activities throughout the weekend. The goal is to encourage people from out of town to visit our lovely city and experience our local ambiance. There are reduced hotel packages available.
Immediately following the Historic Talk by Thad. Meckley, bring your children and grandchildren to visit Santa Claus! He is “Coming to Town to Light the Tree” at Park Place at 7 PM. They will have carols, cookies, and hot chocolate. In addition, complimentary carriage rides will be offered. This will be a lot of fun for young and old alike.
Again as in other years, the Artisan Holiday Market will be available for your shopping pleasure for two days this year. It will be held at the YWCA on Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a myriad of uniquely crafted holiday gifts. Come explore this incredible display of different types of hand-made items from these talented, juried artisans. An addition to the Artisan Holiday Market this year is Bastress Winery and Distillery at 414 W. Fourth Street, across from The Peter Herdic House. The DuBoistown Garden Club 55th Annual Holiday House will be open all three days. It will be held at Pennington Lounge, Lycoming College each day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The annual Will Huffman Toy Train Expo, loved by train enthusiasts from all over, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Park Place, the Thomas T. Taber Museum and Peter Herdic Transportation Museum, on both Saturday and Sunday.
You don’t want to miss an interesting display of The Park Home Art & Antiques to be held at The Park Home Meadows in Montoursville on Sunday from 11:30 am. to 3:30 p.m. Experience artworks dating from the 18th century into the 20th century. The display includes paintings, sculptures, and furniture.
The highlight of the weekend is the Tour of Historic Homes, Churches, and Buildings of Architectural Interest. This takes place on Saturday, November 17 only (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Here is where you can visually appreciate the true quality of architectural splendor in our area. They would not be able to do this without the willingness of the homeowners. They take the time to have their homes prepared and allow multitudes to walk through them.
The homes are beautifully decorated thanks to local florists who have been involved for many years. Do not forget to enjoy the exquisiteness of our local churches on the tour as well as some interesting downtown buildings. The members of the event committee are so grateful for the support of local businesses and or individuals who support this endeavor as sponsors.
Once again there will be complimentary trolley rides to the various sites on the tour. Tickets for the tour are $20 for adults; Free for Children through age 18 and Students with College ID and can be purchased at the Community Arts Center, The Historic Genetti Hotel, the Transportation Museum, and the County Visitors Bureau. On the day of the tour, they can be purchased at the homes on tour. For additional ticket information call: 570-419-2989 or go to their e-ticket site: http://www.2018victorianchristmas.eventbrite.com Proceeds from our ticket sales go back into beautifying the historic district through the hanging and maintenance of 56 lovely floral baskets that grace the period light posts during the summer months. During the winter holidays, over 100 of these fixtures are dawned with lighted wreaths with trailing garland and silk ribbon. They also provide for the flowers and maintenance of the portal of our historic district.
There are many places to enjoy a snack or meal throughout the day on Saturday.
Some of the churches on the tour have refreshments available for purchase. Additionally, there are numerous local restaurants listed in the brochure under “Food Around Town.” Take a break in your travels and enjoy some fine local cuisine at establishments such as Sticky Elbow, Historic Genetti Hotel & Suites, Peter Herdic House, Chef Hosch & Ann Catering, Moon & Raven Public House, Franco’s Lounge, Brickyard/Stonehouse Pizza, Shamrock Grill & Subs, Backhouse Café Coffee & Tea, and The Old Corner Hotel. The Committee certainly appreciates all who helped to make this endeavor happen. There is a list of special thanks on the brochure and on their website: http://www.victorianchristmaspa.com
“We again had iHeartMedia as our media sponsor this year,” Fischer said. They really helped spread the word through radio. We want to mention that we are very thankful for all the individual home sponsors and radio ad sponsors. Please look at our Facebook page: Victorian Christmas in Williamsport.
The houses, notable buildings, and churches featured on the tour for Saturday, November 17 are:
The Rowley House Museum at 707 West Fourth Street (Sponsor –In Memory of Ted Lyon), Thomas T. Taber Museum at 858 West Fourth Street, YWCA at 815 West Fourth Street, The Smith/Ulman House at 634 West Fourth Street (Sponsors-Airmen Mechanical Services, Buttery Biscuit, East End Lumber), The M’Cauley House at 1217 Campbell Street (Sponsors-Blaise Alexander Family Dealership, Rigmaids, Sanders Mortuary), The Dickert House at 1401 Woodmont Avenue (Sponsors-Brickyard/Stonehouse Pizza, Bastian Auto Tire Centers, Dr. Marc Rosenthal), The Myers/Douglass House at 317 Grampian Boulevard (Sponsors-Allison Crane & Rigging, “Backhouse Café Coffee & Tea”, Chef Hosch and Ann Catering), The Cochran/Lyon House at 1005 West Fourth Street (Sponsors-Al and Judy Styrcula, Franco’s Lounge, Shamrock Grill & Subs), The Frederic Moore House at 1035 West Fourth Street (Sponsors-Lundy Warehousing, Inc., Sticky Elbow, Wascher Chiropractic Center), The Stroehmann House at 1501 Glen Echo Road (Sponsors-Moon and Raven Public House, Woolrich), The Old Corner Hotel at 328 Court Street, The Community Arts Center at 220 West Fourth Street, The Genetti Hotel & Suites at 200 West Fourth Street, James V Brown Library at 19 East Fourth Street, Williamsport’s Scottish Rite, Christ Episcopal Church at 426 Mulberry Street, City Alliance Church at 380 West Fourth Street, St. Joseph the Worker Church at 702 West Fourth Street, Covenant Central Presbyterian Church at 807 West Fourth Street, Trinity Episcopal Church at 844 West Fourth Street, Sojourner Truth Ministries at 501 High Street Shiloh Baptist Church at 433 Walnut Street.