Good spirits and ideas regularly flow across a bar—and that was the case when three wine-sipping celebrants envisioned the idea of Victorian Christmas in Williamsport. Gathered at the bar at the Peter Herdic House on the city’s fabled Millionaires’ Row, restaurant co-owner Gloria Miele, along with historic preservation pals Nan Young and Edward “Ted” Lyon Jr., cobbled together a small tour of nearby homes.
“We decided to have a little candlelight tour,” recalls Young. “We did it all ourselves and had a few houses, dragging our friends in to guide . We had a carol sing in the lawn of Park Place and lit a tree on Friday evening. It was grand. We gathered our money from the tickets in our muffs and went to the Herdic House to rejoice. We put the money out to count and toasted each other, we were so pleased.”
Now an even grander event, the 15th Annual Victorian Christmas, is set for Friday through Sunday, November 22-24. This year’s theme is Buon Natale—an Italian Christmas.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., tours are planned of Victorian homes, historic churches, and public buildings along West Fourth Street, Little Italy, Vallamont, and Newberry—all sections of the greater Williamsport area. With nine private
homes, six churches, and four public buildings on the tour roster, nineteen facilities will be open for viewing. Homes will be festively decorated, featuring fresh floral arrangements designed by local florists, live instrumental music, and guides dressed in period attire.
Victorian Christmas tour tickets are $15, with children and students admitted free. Trolley shuttle rides will be offered as part of the tour. Carriage rides are also available from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. for a cost of $10 per adults and $5 for children. Saturday’s soiree will also feature “Food on Fourth,” with various churches and restaurants along West Fourth Street offering breakfast, baked goods, Italian lunches, and Victorian tea from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The schedule of events for the weekend also includes the popular Downtown Holiday Parade, stepping off at 6 p.m., on Friday; the Duboistown Garden Club’s 50th Annual Holiday House at Lycoming College, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with Sunday hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and the 23rd Annual Will Huffman Toy Train Expo, at Park Place, 800 W. Fourth St., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and noon to 4 p.m., Sunday.
Victorian Christmas tickets can be purchased at any mansion on the tour or at a variety of city locales, including the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, the Genetti Hotel, Community Arts Center, or the Peter Herdic Transportation Museum. All proceeds benefit Preservation Williamsport. More information is available at www.facebook. com/VictorianChristmasWilliamsport and www.preservationwilliamsport.org.