Scores of people participate in Christmas Tour of Homes

Scores of people participate in Christmas Tour of Homes by David Lias The weather Friday night was a bit nippy, and snow covered Vermillion's streets and sidewalks.

But that didn't stop approximately 200 people from Vermillion and other communities from taking part in the annual Christmas Tour of Homes, hosted by the Clay County Historical Society.

Six Vermillion homeowners greeted visitors to their residences for the tour: Ross and Sandy Dickenson, Alan and Maxine Johnson, Cleo and Norris Erickson, Betty and Larry Smith, Jeff and Suzanne Grover and Holly Straub.

"I thought it was a very successful tour," said Cleo Erickson, president of the historical society. "The turnout may have been a little bit smaller than in past years, but there were a lot of conflicts, a lot of other things going on in town at the same time. And the weather may have kept some people home. So when you consider all of that, you have to pleased with the turnout."

Erickson said people who took the tour spent a great deal of time enjoying the furnishings and architecture of the homes.

"The homeowners really did a lot of work," she said. "We had a good variety of houses with different things and different designs that people really enjoyed viewing."

The tour ended on a festive note, with participants gathering at the Austin Whittemore House for food, beverages and fellowship.

"People stayed at the house for a long time, enjoying the food and enjoying each other's company," Erickson said. "We had people from as far away as San Diego, and we also had people from Yankton and the Sioux City area. So the tour didn't just include Vermillion people."

The event is the historical society's most important fund raiser each year. The money is used for the upkeep of the Austin Whittemore House.

"I am very happy with how everything turned out," Erickson said.

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