Let the holiday season officially begin – it’s time for a full day of fun and merriment in the historic Town of Clifton. The festivities begin Saturday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. with a colorful horse parade, followed by the Holiday Homes Tour from 4-7 p.m.
Parade participants are members of the Clifton Horse Society, and they and their horses will be all decked out in their holiday finery as they jingle down Main Street and loop through the town. Afterward, they and the attendees will gather together to enjoy cookies and other refreshments.
People are then invited to visit the charming shops and eat at Clifton’s restaurants before immersing themselves in the town’s storybook setting of twinkling lights, the sound of caroling and beautifully decorated homes awaiting them during the homes tour.
On display will be four houses in town, an RV, plus a bonus fifth house, just outside Clifton. “You will not want to miss this home’s floor-to-ceiling decorations spanning three levels, which have been featured in a national magazine,” said event Chairman Darah Curran. “This bonus house will open at 3 p.m. to accommodate the drive.”
The rest of the homes will open their doors to the public at 4 p.m. Three of them are historic and one is a modern, arts-and-crafts style. “While the homes’ walls might not be able to talk, as you walk through them, docents will share stories about the houses, their previous homeowners and some town history/gossip,” said Curran.
One house stands on the rumored moonshine stills of the 1920s, another home showcases stained-glass doors that were once part of a suite at the Clifton Hotel – and prior to that, served as the interior cabin-doors on a Trans-Atlantic steamship. The historic homes served many purposes; visitors will be able to learn about their former uses as a barbershop, grocery store, saloon, church, livery, etc.
In addition, the Clifton Caboose will be open for curious train enthusiasts of all ages to view. And all three town churches will have holiday performances over the course of the evening, and the public is welcome to attend, free of charge.
Except for the bonus house, the entire event is walkable throughout the town. Tickets for the homes tour will be available at these Clifton shops and restaurants: Main Street Pub, Little Villagio, Belle Jar and Virginia Mercantile, as well as at Pickett Fence in Burke.
The cost through Dec. 1 is $25, adults; $5, children. On the day of the event, tickets will be $30 and $5. Proceeds benefit the Town of Clifton and a designated, town charitable cause. Ticket booklets will contain each home’s address, plus detailed information and histories about all of them.
— Darah Curran contributed to this story.