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Octagon House continues tradition of holiday cheer

Since the restoration of the Octagon House in Camillus in the early 1990s, the weekend before Thanksgiving has meant an eight-sided holiday-themed open house.

"This started as a way to show the local community how the house had been brought back and it has been growing ever since," said Joy Flood, who is in charge of the event.

This year's Holiday Open House runs from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 20 and 21 and features an extensive raffle - 28 prizes of decorated items, mostly trees, will fill the first floor. The prizes are all donated and created by area businesses, local residents and friends of the Octagon House.

Grandma's pantry will brim with baked good provided by over 200 local community bakers and friends of the house - just in time to be purchased for Thanksgiving.

Santa will also pay the house a visit, and set up shop from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the gallery area. The Village Singers will carol through the house from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, and artists and craftsmen will display and sell handmade creations throughout the weekend.

All proceeds from the open house go to the restoration of the Octagon House's interior and the purchasing of period furnishings. Built in 1856, the house is on the National Registry of Historical Places and is one of the few restored houses of its kind on the East Coast. Unique to the house is its central staircase that travels up five floors, and 62 stairs, to the cupola from which all of Camillus can be viewed.

The Octagon House is located at 5420 W. Genesee St., Camillus, and is open for guided tours from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays through December. Town of Camillus residents may use the house for special occasions, and organizations or groups can book tours. There is a visual tour for viewing on the main floor for visitors who cannot travel through the house and the house is handicap accessible. For more information, call 488-7800.

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