Several activities being offered this weekend

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Anyone in search of a unique gift this holiday season can avoid the big crowds and mass merchandise that local area malls offer by visiting the historic homes of College Court and Riddick’s Folly this weekend. The four bungalows at College Court will be dressed in holiday dcor and featured in the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society’s &uot;27th Annual Candlelight Tour.&uot;

The weekend begins with a First Friday Concert at Main Street United Methodist Church at noon today. The Downtown Illumination will take place at 5 p.m. at the Seaboard Station.

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The Candlelight Tour takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets may be bought at the Seaboard Station Railroad Museum on North Main Street, one of many historic sites the Historical Society has preserved for Suffolk citizens.

Also available at the train station museum are raffle tickets for a vintage 1938 Roadster that the society is raffling off. Proceeds from the little peddle-powered vehicle will benefit the society’s latest efforts at preserving Suffolk’s glorious past; &uot;The Dawson House.&uot; Tickets are $2 each or three for $5, and they may be purchased at the railroad museum.

At College Court; those looking for those gourmet holiday treats can lose themselves browsing through the Sugar Plum Kitchen. There is none other like it in the city. The Sugar Plum Kitchen there will offer a variety of delicate pastries and candies.

Also, plan to visit Riddick’s Folly, another historic site where visitors may tour &uot;Christmas Past with Anna Mary Riddick,&uot; and see an exhibit of &uot;Santa around the World.&uot; Assistant Lee King will create 5×7 silhouettes of children. These will be framed and wrapped for $15 each.

Anyone in search of &uot;that special gift&uot; can easily find it at Riddick’s Folly Gift Shop, which is filled with unique Christmas ornaments and decorations and several books of a historical genre.

In fact, Emilee Hines, author of &uot;It Happened in Virginia,&uot; will be on hand for a book signing. To take home a gift for the entire family, plan to shop for some wonderful Southern Christmas desserts for sale at the Folly. Recently, the folly held a &uot;Gingerbread House&uot; instruction program. Many of Suffolk’s children joined their parents in creating gingerbread houses and lots of holiday memories.

Riddick’s Folly is open extended hours this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

Anyone planning to take the tour or visit any of the decorated historic sites can have a brochure to guide them. Those multi-paged, artfully decorated guide are available at the Seaboard Station Railroad Museum and Gift Shop, 326 N. Main St.