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Tuesday December 11, 2018
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people flock to christmas candlelight tour

Monday, December 03, 2018 06:26 AM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News


The spirits of Christmas past seemed present Sunday during a tour of four historic homes and a church decked out in holiday lights and decorations in LaPorte.

The sound of bells draped over a horse and clickety clack of hooves meeting the pavement during carriage rides in the downtown area enhanced the time machine-like experience of the 18th annual Christmas Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes.

''It's lovely. Gorgeous,'' said Paula Swenson of Valparaiso.

She and her neighbor, Terri McDonald, came for the first time after learning about the tour a few days ago.

''We love old houses so here we are,'' Swenson said.

The atmosphere at each of the five stops was truly Christmas-like with piano players performing holiday favorites ranging from Silent Night to Jingle Bells.

There were lights, trees and hand rails on stairways wrapped in garland along with stockings and toy soldiers on some of the fireplace mantles in the homes with vintage wood floors.

Stephanie Skwiat and Sue Utpatel from the Michigan City area came together and made St. Paul's Episcopal Church built in 1898 at 1000 Michigan Ave. their first stop.

For believers, the English Gothic Revival style church with its stained glass windows, high ceilings and crucifixion of Jesus under bright lights seemed like an open curtain to the true meaning of the season.

Skwiat said she goes on the tour every year and collects the booklets containing historical information about each of the buildings from every tour.

''I love the old homes and I like to see what they've done decorating them. They're beautiful,'' Skwiat said.

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