ASHLAND — One of the holiday events to return in 2021 after taking a year off due to the pandemic is the Ashland Christmas Tour of Homes.
Hosted by the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center in Ashland, this event takes place Saturday from 1-7 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
Saturday will also feature a Christmas Market filled with arts and crafts vendors at the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center building located at 1620 Winchester Ave. in Ashland.
Tickets for the 2021 Ashland Christmas Tour of Homes are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. Ages 8 and older are suggested. The two historic houses open for touring and located at Bellefonte will require a shuttle ride from Bridges Christian Church at 1402 Kenwood Drive in Russell, Kentucky; otherwise, participants can drive to the locations in their own vehicles.
More information can be found at 606-329-8888 or highlandsmuseum.com.
Carol Allen is the executive director of the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center.
“This will be our 13th year of hosting the home tours,” said Allen. “We had to cancel the live tours last year, but we did do a virtual tour then. In 2021, however, we have nine places altogether that folks can tour, including our Highlands Museum, which will be decorated wonderfully as well. There will be six historic homes to tour, as well as the old post office in Catlettsburg, which was purchased by attorney at law Natasha Kinnan, who turned it (into) a beautiful law office. The old post office was built in Italy in 1908 and was brought to Catlettsburg by boat and reassembled here.”
People who go on the Ashland Christmas Tour of Homes ever year look forward to the new decorations at their favorite residences.
“The Tom and Sherry Wolf house in Bellefonte is popular,” said Allen. “It is a Greek revival style home right on the golf course at the country club, and it is just gorgeous. It was built in 1930 and has the Corinthian columns, and it has only had three owners over the years. There is a second beautiful house on the tour just a short ways from the Wolf home that belongs to Chris and Liz Boyle. Both wonderful houses have been there for a long time.”
One of the homes on the tour in Catlettsburg, now owned by Terri Branham Clark, was built in 1873.
The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center has also been making improvements on campus.
“We have been doing huge renovations here in Ashland,” said Allen. “We put all new doors and bathrooms in the building so we are ADA compliant, and we have added a Convention Center on our fourth floor that can seat over 500 people at tables and can be used as a 650-seat, arena-style facility, which folks can rent out for weddings and more. We are also in the middle of a capital campaign that will finance a new Center for Children on our second floor, which will be fabulous and second to none when it is finished.”
Another use for the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center building is the yearly Christmas Market taking place Saturday during the Tour of Homes.
“Our Christmas Market will be open here at the museum on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Summer Whitman, director of marketing for the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. “We will feature vendors selling lots of different things including clothing and some jewelry stations and even a woodcarving station. There will also be a special section for food vendors and bakeries and more. We will also host some live music on Saturday at the market throughout the whole day.”
For more information about this weekend’s events, visit facebook.com/highlandsmuseum/.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article listed incorrect dates for the event. It was updated at 4 p.m. Dec. 2 to reflect the correct dates.