The weather outside is white and frightful but the sights inside are green and delightful.
The Homes for Christmas Tour starts next Wednesday for its four-day run. The fourth annual event looks to be as much festooned with flora as it will be festive with the holiday spirit, and it will all start with a bang or at least a celebratory ‘pop.’
Leslie MacEachern, executive director of the St. Albert Senior Citizens’ Club, explained that of the five professionally decorated houses lined up on the map, one has a special connection with the city’s new brand. The City of St. Albert sponsored the Botanic Arts Home in Oakmont as a way of cross-promoting the ‘Cultivate Life’ brand along with the tour. This location was decorated by local interior designer Cory Christopher.
“This is our first Champagne Gala for the Homes for Christmas Tour,” she said, discussing the premiere event that will naturally feature bottles of bubbly. There will also be hors d’ouevres, live entertainment and a new fashion show with local models showing off holiday attire. “Then we board the buses and tour the homes.”
The tour can be either self-guided or participants can let the organizers chauffeur them around on a chartered bus. The event is an awareness and fundraising event for the club’s many programs, services and resources. Apart from boosting the festive spirit, it also gives the lucky chosen ones the rare opportunity to have their homes professionally decorated by local designers and stores.
MacEachern conceded ticket sales have been slow, especially for the gala, but have picked up recently. That doesn’t bother her much as she knows how so many people wait until the last minute, plus attendance has improved from year to year.
“We’ve sold over 100 tickets already, which is about normal for this time, but we’d sure like to sell a lot more.” she said, adding she hopes to sell 1,000 tickets. To encourage those who haven’t been on the tour before, she said past attendees give her a lot of positive feedback about their experiences.
“They love it! It’s such a great night.”
The Champagne Gala takes place on Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. The tour runs from 4 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 3, and Dec. 4 from 1 to 9 p.m.
Tickets for the tour are $30 each and $65 for the gala. They can be purchased at the club, First Choice Tree Nursery and Garden Centre, Seasons Gift Shop and Perfect Sense, or on the club’s website at www.stalbertseniorsclub.org. Call 780-459-0433 for more information.