23 Aug 2014
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Area Christmas House Tour Promises a ‘Fabulous’ Time

Stuck for holiday decorating ideas? Get inspired by checking out some of the unique homes and decorating styles of area residents featured in the Cranberry Women's Club's annual tour.

Area Christmas House Tour Promises a ‘Fabulous’ Time Area Christmas House Tour Promises a ‘Fabulous’ Time

With a rustic log cabin, a refurbished church rectory, a Swedish Christmas spread and more all part of the annual Christmas House Tour sponsored by the  Cranberry Women’s Club, event co-chairwoman Gina Bianchi has one promise for attendees.

“It’s going to be fabulous,” she said

Now in its tenth year, the event is from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 and features eight area homes done up for the holidays.

Among this year’s open houses are a log cabin located off Route 528 and the historic parsonage house at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Zelienople. Bianchi said tourists should expect lots of antiques inside the rectory, which is being restored by new owners.

“It’s one of the oldest homes in the areas,” Bianchi said of the parsonage, which was built in the 1800s.

As for other homes on the self-guided tour, Bianchi said the log cabin features some of the owner’s own woodworking designs while another abode is decorated with baubles the owner picked up while living in France.

Inspired by her relatives, the owner of another tour home has decorated her home in the Swedish Christmas style, including gnomes.

“It’s really tastefully done,” Bianchi said. “It’s gorgeous and so different.”

Bianchi said part of the tour’s fun is exploring other people’s homes and getting inspired by the holiday decorating styles on display. New this is year is a home offering homemade cookies and refreshments to guests.

“Everyone gets ideas,” Bianchi said. “Sometimes, it’s just the simplest things.”

She credited word of mouth for residents coming forward year after year to volunteer their homes for the event. She said all residents, from townhouse dwellers to mansion owners, are welcome to be part of the tour.

“We actually like a nice mix,” she said. “The tour is for everyone because there’s such a broad range. One thing everyone has in common is they all love to decorate for Christmas.”

Tourists pick up their registration packets, including a map and a description of the homes, at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center on Rochester Road Sunday just before the start of the event. Cranberry Civic Chorale members will be on hand at the municipal center to serenade guests and there also will be a raffle for three goodie-filled baskets valued at $250 each.

Tickets to the event cost $20 each and are being presold now. All proceeds from the event benefit seven local nonprofits, including Gleaners Food Bank and the Cranberry Public Library. 

A limited number of tickets still are available for the tour. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Cranberry Women’s Club website by clicking here, or email at Bianchi at rbianchi@zoominternet.net.

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