TUPELO • If you enjoy walking through beautifully decorated holiday homes, you’re in for a treat this weekend.
Two Tupelo neighborhood associations will be hosting tours, featuring a total of 18 homes and four businesses.
First up is the Mill Village Holiday Open House on Thursday and Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 each night. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at Relics Antique Marketplace on South Green Street.
“On our Facebook page, we asked who wanted to show their homes and people just started lining up,” said Grayson Robbins, tour coordinator.
Mill Village is characterized by homes built around the Tupelo Cotton Mill in the early 1900s. Ten houses, almost all on South Church Street, will be open to the public, as will four businesses: Relics; Mississippi Mecca; Mill Village Outpost; and Sweet Treats by Margarete, which will open until 6 each night.
“It’s pretty much a walking tour,” Robbins said. “Most of the homes will have light refreshments.”
Parking is available at the Spain House, the Health Department or on the street.
“All the money raised goes to the association’s general fund to be used for the preservation, restoration and beautification of the Mill Village neighborhood,” Robbins said.
Robbins and his wife, Bess, have been working on restoring their one-story bungalow on South Church that was built in 1921. It’s one of the homes on tour.
“We’re hoping people will come see where we are now and then come back next year and see it when it’s finished,” Bess Robbins said.
The Christmas tree in their living room is 12 feet tall and brushes the ceiling.
“All of the ornaments are traditional with the modern twist of ribbons woven in the tree,” she said.
“Most of the ornaments have a little memory to them,” Grayson Robbins said. “”Some didn’t make it on the tree this year.”
The Historic Downtown Neighborhood Christmas Open House Tour is Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at Relics or Artifacts Antiques.
This tour features eight homes, and all the money raised goes into the association’s fund for neighborhood improvements.
“People can tour some of the homes Saturday and do the rest on Sunday,” said Chris Grimes, tour coordinator. “The tickets have all the addresses on the back. We’ll just mark the address off the ticket as they tour a home.”
Four of the homes are on Robins Street, and there’s one each on Jefferson, Allen, North Church and North Green streets.
“People don’t have to do this, but if they want to, they can bring an unwrapped gift for a gift drive we’re doing for a nursing home,” Grimes said. “They can leave the gifts at any home on the tour and they will be distributed to the residents at Diversicare of Tupelo at Christmas.”
Gift suggestions include hard candy, lotion, socks, undershirts, pajama bottoms, crossword puzzle books or small decorative items.
“It doesn’t take much to make them happy,” he said.
Grimes’ home is one of the eight on tour. A Folk Victorian home built around 1920, it boasts 19 decorated Christmas trees and four mantels adorned with greenery, ribbon and lights.
“I was late getting started with my decorating this year,” Grimes said. “We usually start the week of Halloween.”