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Highlands Museum and Discovery Center is shown in this 2020 file photo. The museum now features interior and exterior Christmas displays as the holiday season approaches.

ASHLAND — It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmastime, and the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center in Ashland will offer displays and events to help visitors get in the spirit of the season.

The museum’s Christmas season window display “Parsons a Fairytale Christmas,” features decorations by Andrew and Kevin Allen of Ironton in association with Heather Whitman, the museum’s curator.

Months ago, Executive Director Carol Allen met the pair at their home in Ironton during a special event. That conversation led to Andrew Allen stepping in as the museum’s design consultant, agreeing to help with decorations both inside and outside the museum, according to a news release. During planning, it was decided to try to evoke the decorations of Parsons Department Store. The two central windows have a fairytale theme, while the outer two windows evoke the department store past of the building with a perfume counter and Christmas-themed displays.

Inside the museum, the Boyd County Homemakers have again decorated a collection of trees and wreaths throughout the three main floors. Included are a Derby themed tree and a patriotic tree dedicated to veterans. Also inside is a display of miniatures houses. The centerpiece is a miniature house from Andrew Allen’s personal collection.

He spent time putting the piece together with the help of local artist Denise Spaulding, who did much of the interior, and Scott Burns, who made the exterior appear as stone. Allen based the house off of the Colleen Moore Fairytale Castle at the Chicago Museum of Art, according to the release. Each room has a different fairytale theme and features real lights, china and silver. The main floor will also feature two other miniature houses from the museum’s collection as well as a section of smaller Christmas-themed houses.

This display can be enjoyed by guests through the month of December culminating in the museum’s first Christmas Market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Intended to coincide with the popular “Christmas Tour of Homes,” this event will feature a variety of vendors to meet attendees Christmas shopping needs. The vendors will be set amongst the beautiful decorations intended to give a Parsons-like experience.

Hours for the “Christmas Tour of Homes” are 1-7 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 1-5 p.m. on Dec. 5. Those who buy tickets to the “Christmas Tour of Homes” can attend the market as part of their tour. For walk-ins, the Market will be $5 admission.

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