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Christmas Display 1

In 2015, Suzette Shanle welcomed hundreds of guest into her home to witness a holiday display the theme of "Winter Wonderland". It was one of many homes that year part of St. Anthony’s Tour of Homes, which takes place again this year on Nov. 29.

It’s not too uncommon to see cars cruising the streets this time of year. Each one filled with those eager to see the town’s spectacle of lights on display in people's front yards and driveways. But what about the inside of the home?

For those wanting to take a tour inside a winter wonderland, St. Anthony’s Tour of Homes is for you.

The event's $12 tickets list the addresses of six residents and venues who have agreed to take on visitors to spread some home holiday cheer. The open house tours take place from 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 29.

Tickets are available for purchase from the St Anthony's Catholic Church office, 562 17th Ave. The tour also includes free desserts and beverages served at St. Anthony’s Social Hall, 1719 6th St. For an additional cost, homemade soups and sandwiches will also be available.

Event organizer Marilyn Haney said about 400 people usually come out for the tour each year.

“It’s a social night out for them,” Haney said. “It gets them into the Christmas spirit.”

Homeowners put on full display their home holiday decorations for all to see. Haney said each home is decorated with its own unique style and theme. She said one of the homes in this year's selection is going for a Western theme. Fellow event organizer Carolyn Cielocha said the tours serve as a great bonding activity for all in attendance.

“It’s fun to see the ladies come down and enjoy the camaraderie of their girlfriends,” Cielocha said. “It’s just unbelievable.”

The event serves as a major fundraiser for the organization and the church, as well as St. Anthony's School. Haney said The St. Theresa Sodality has been putting on the Tour of Homes for more than a decade.

Any women over the age of 18 at St. Anthony's Church is considered a member of The St. Theresa Sodality. The group organizes dinners for local funerals and hosts other miscellaneous church events and fundraisers.

According to the event flyer, the homes in this year's tour include those of Mike and Nicole Fleming, Michael and Melanie Gutzmer, Mike Slizoski and Melanie Knoepfle, Leonard and Louise Chohon, The Evans House and The Friedhof Room at Schweser’s.

Although the event is popular among women, Haney and Cielocha said the home tours can put anyone in the mood for the holidays.

“The atmosphere is just absolutely wonderful,” Cielocha said. “It’s just something to see.”

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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Eric Schucht earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 2018. He has written for The Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Roseburg News Review.

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