LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Historical Society’s annual Home for the Holidays Festival will be back — live and in person at 7552 S. State St.
Last year the event was held virtually with a tree and wreath online auction. According to event coordinator Carmen Sweet, the virtual auction raised about $5,000, approximately half of what the event traditionally raises.
The 18th annual fundraiser is set from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19, 20, 26 and 27, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4.
The event includes a huge Lionel train display, a silent auction for decorated Christmas trees and wreaths, a raffle for donated items and a display of gingerbread houses.
Three sets of trains travel through scenes — Lewis County Fair, Halloween Town and a Christmas village. This year the historical society’s antique hearse is incorporated into the Halloween Town display.
Mr. Sweet said this will be the last year for the model train display which he and his partner James Randall have created for 15 years. They spend about 40 hours setting up the train display, which this year is the largest one to date.
Mr. Sweet also created a tribute, incorporating some of the society’s antiques, in memory of former historical society curator Jerry Perrin, who passed away last December.
Local businesses and organizations have created 24 uniquely decorated Christmas trees and 21 wreaths. Themes for the trees range from the whimsical, such as the Grinch by the Lowville Lions Club, and a tree decorated with books by Spirit Walk with the Beagle Girl to more traditional decor. Some of the trees have special value, with the Countryside Veterinary Clinic tree offering a $350 gift certificate and the Lewis County Agricultural Society tree including $150 worth of “fair food” on its fair-themed tree.
“We all have been cooped up in our homes for a year and a half. Young and old will have the opportunity to experience a holiday wonderland,” Mr. Sweet said. “And for any train lovers, this the last year they will be able to experience the fun we’ve had having our trains here.”
The historical society gift shop will be open throughout the six-day event.
In conjunction with the festival, the Adirondack Community Chorus, directed by Peg Nuspliger, will perform a Christmas Concert “Christmas is Alive” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the First Presbyterian Church, 7707 N. State St. A freewill offering will be taken to benefit the historical society.
To respect COVID restrictions, all who attend the events must wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and maintain social distances. The historical society retains the right to ask those who do not follow the rules to leave.
For more information about the festival, call 315-376-8957 or visit lewiscountyhistory.org.