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Published: 11/29/2012

Signs of the times: Tours de Noel, Holidays in the Manor House

BY ROSE RUSSELL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A week ago we were celebrating Thanksgiving. Then as the hours slipped by, many stole into the night to get sales on Black Friday. So now that numerous area residents can happily boast that a good portion of their Christmas shopping is done, there's time to take in some other joyous aspects of the season.

And two of them are the annual Tours de Noel, sponsored by the Women of the Old West End, Inc., and Holidays in the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve.

This year's tour is Sunday between noon and 7 p.m. and features historic sites and First Congregational Church, and each will be adorned in gorgeous holiday jewels.

The gift boutique is in First Congregational Church, at 2315 Collingwood Blvd. Lunch will be served there from noon to 6:30 p.m., and it's where tourists will find the annual Arboretum Cookie Walk and other vendors.

Besides the church, the Mansion View Inn at 2035 Collingwood and the Milmine-Stewart House-Toledo History Museum at 2001 Collingwood are also on the tour.

Homes where visitors can view holiday decor are the Sturges-Briggs/Bigelow Home at 2062 Robinwood Ave., the Mull-Geer Home at 2553 Glenwood Ave., the Mill-Bloomer Home at 639 Stratford Place, and the David L. Stine House at 2333 Scottwood Ave.

Advance ticket donations to see all of the sites are $12 per person, or they can be purchased at any one of the homes on the day of the event for $15. To visit one site, the donation is $5. Ticket donations for anyone age 55 and up are $10 each. Children up to age 13 are free when with an adult.

Tickets are available at Lily's on Main in Levis Commons; Georgettes Grounds & Gifts and at David Swesey Florist, both in Maumee; the Downtown Latte on South St. Clair Street in downtown Toledo; Schramm's Flowest in Cricket West; Color Concepts and Brooks Florist, both in Sylvania, and Black Kite Coffee & Pies on Collingwood. Orders for tickets can be placed by calling Lynn LaPlante at 419-244-4921.

Santa will visit the Commons Park Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Old West End Common's Park Tree & Gazebo Lighting will occur at 4:30 p.m. Also that evening in the park during Glitter and Glow, there will be judging and prizes given to residents of the historic district who best decorate their exteriors and yards.

A decades-long Toledo tradition continues Sunday at Holidays in the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve, 5100 W. Central Ave. Thirty-five decorated trees will be featured at the house, courtesy of hundreds of volunteers.

The house will be open daily beginning Sunday until Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Manor House was built in the 1930s as the family home of Robert and Page Stranahan and it has been decorated ever since the mid-1970s when the house and property were purchased by the Toledo Metroparks.

A Holiday Cafe and Craft Show will be featured at Metroparks Hall, a short walk from the Manor House, and on Dec. 8 the Oak Grove School at the east entrance to Wildwood will feature activities from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Reservations are needed for the school events and can be made by calling 419-407-9701.

Contact Rose Russell at rrussell@theblade.com or 419-724-6178.



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