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Lorenzo offers annual Christmas tours and celebrations next weekend

— The holidays are here again at historic Lorenzo State Historic Site, and next week visitors can experience the neoclassical Ledyard family mansion bedecked in holiday finery.

This year’s revelries begin with the “Mansion Preview Party” from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3. The preview party offers Lorenzo members and member-guests a sneak peak at the decorated mansion before the weekend festivities. The preview party costs $25 for members and $30 for non-member guests.

The weekend of Dec. 6 through 8 will be the annual “Christmas at Lorenzo” programs, which feature thematic decorations, seasonal displays, holiday refreshments and live music as visitors tour the 200-year-old mansion. This year’s theme will be “Christmas Around the World,” and mansion decorators will creatively interpret this theme however they choose. There will also be on display Father Christmas costumes from around the world and we will be able to see how people in different countries interpret the vision of St. Nicholas.

Each weekend event also will have a musical component. The Friday evening “Christmas by Candlelight” will feature the Belle Aire Hand-Bell Trio, on Saturday guests will be reveled by the John Rhode Trio and on Sunday there will be music of long ago with Bells and Motley

“Christmas at Lorenzo has been a signature program for us since the mid-1970s. This year, after Sharon Cooney’s retirement from 33 years of service, Lisa Brownback, Jenny Coughlin and Katherine Huftalen have formed a committee, with Friends of Lorenzo support, to coordinate the volunteer decorators, raise community support and help staff with planning all aspects of putting on a program as large as this one. So we’re very excited that the tradition continues with their help and commitment to Lorenzo, and we are very thankful for Sharon’s important role in growing Christmas at Lorenzo over the years,” said Barbara Bartlett Lorenzo site director.

The weekend’s highlight is the once-a-year candlelight tour offered from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. On Saturday and Sunday the mansion is open from 1 to 4 p.m. On Sunday, visitors can see the historic Rippleton one-room schoolhouse decorated for the holidays. Sleigh rides (weather permitting) are available throughout the weekend, and ornamental crafts and holiday treats will also be featured at the Rippleton Schoolhouse on Sunday.

Admission fees: $5 per person; $2 children 12 and under. For more information, visit lorenzoNY.org or call 655-3200, ext. 100.

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