The Candlelight Tour is coming soon

Published 10:44 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It’s a tradition in Suffolk dating back to 1977.

The Candlelight Tour is back this year Dec. 6 and 7, with new additions to make the holiday event a hit.

“We’re excited about this year’s tour,” said Hunter Duggan, chairman for the Candlelight Tour. “People kind of expect it every year. They know it’s the first weekend in December, so each year they kind of go, ‘Ooh where is it going to be this year?’”

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The Candlelight Tour is the biggest fundraiser for the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society. People in the community volunteer their homes to be toured during the first weekend in December to highlight some of the city’s architectural and historical gems.

This year, five homes will be on the tour: The Pruitt Residence, 125 Linden Avenue, homeowners John and Judy Pruitt; The Pollard Residence, 201 Linden Avenue, homeowners Marcus and Paige Pollard; The Krzemien Residence, 211 Linden Avenue, homeowners Jeffrey and Kimberly Krzemien; The Fuller Residence, 512 West Washington St., homeowner Alice Fuller; and The Signore-Lehman Residence, 128 Brewer Avenue, homeowners Janice Signore and McRay Lehman.

“We’re excited we’ve got five unique houses…,” Duggan said. “We feel like we’ve got a good assortment of homes, mostly built around the same time, but all of them are different in the architecture and how they have been decorated. It’s a unique look in people’s houses.”

Plus, this year, a ticket to the Candlelight Tour will allow access to The First Lady, the newly renovated Queen Anne/late Victorian-style multi-gable building located on West Washington Street.

Music, exhibits and costumed characters will greet guests at the house, and there will be a special sale on vintage linens inside.

“It’s really kind of people’s first look into the building since it has been restored,” Duggan said. “It should be fun.”

Back this year will be the annual sugarplum kitchen.

Volunteers will take over the Constantia House, located behind the R.W. Baker and Co. Funeral Home on West Washington Street, to sell a wide variety of cookies, candies and other goodies. All proceeds will go to the historical society.

It is a mighty undertaking to make the Candlelight Tour come to life. Duggan says the committee working on this year’s tour began planning just weeks after last year’s tour ended.

She estimated that hundreds of volunteers will be out that weekend working as hostesses in the homes, setting up the greenery and decorations and working the Sugarplum Kitchen and The First Lady.

“We’ve got a great group of volunteers this year; I know that’s going to be neat to see,” Duggan said. “It’s something after 32 years of doing, people come to expect … It’s always a fun weekend. It always makes a fun weekend.”

For more information on the tour, visit