WASHINGTON — The halls are decked, trees trimmed and a few doors will be open for guests on Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8, as the Washington Chamber of Commerce hosts the 29th annual Candlelight Tour of Homes.
Alisha Davis, event coordinator for the chamber, said the tradition acts as a fundraiser for the holiday lights around the downtown square. She said the lights will be lit during the annual lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 30 and will remain until New Year’s Eve.
Five homes and one business have been chosen for the tour this year, she said. Each year, a committee comes together to think about possible ideas. New homes, remodels or new construction are generally at the top of the list, she said.
“Every year we have a wide variety. We don’t do just all new, we mix old and new which I think is really cool and different from other communities. Sometimes they do all new, and I think it’s those older homes that really amaze us,” she said.
This year, Joel and Darci Witthoft are featuring their five bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home built in 1890 at 1106 East Van Buren Street. Jeremiah and Emilie Kaufmann also will feature a 1900 Victorian style home at 621 West Monroe Street.
Steven and Mikayla Slechta will feature their newly remodeled home at 803 South Second Avenue and Andy and Erin Drahota will feature their newly constructed home at 610 South 10th Avenue.
Davis said the unique home on the list is the loft located at 115 1/2 South Second Avenue, on the second level of the Keifer Building. The 5,000 square foot space, owned by Rachel Fishback, has been completely remodeled she said.
Rounding out the tour, Greiner Buildings, Inc. at 120 East Main Street with have a photo booth and refreshments. Located in the former Washington Public Library building, the space has been remodeled into office spaces.
Davis said the number of unique properties on the list will make for a fun evening and will help get everyone in the holiday spirit. She said she personally enjoys looking at the homes to gain inspiration for her own home and feels the tour is a unique opportunity for citizens to come out and get to know one another as well as helping light up the downtown for the holidays.
“I think if you love homes you’re going to love viewing all these different properties,” she said. “I think it’s really great the community can get together and think of ways we can help fund these lights around the square.”
The self-guided tour will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, and from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Washington Chamber of Commerce, any of the 12 retailers and banks downtown or at the door of any house on the day of the tour.
Davis said those wishing to take the tour may start at any of the locations and travel to the next accordingly. She said maps will be handed out at each home to help participants along. A ticket bundle is being offered for those who are interested in purchasing six or more tickets and local restaurant Cafe Dodici is offering specials, she said.
For more information, the chamber can be reached at: 319-653-3272 or found on Facebook and Instagram at Washington Chamber of Commerce.