Home Tour planned for Dec. 8 in Owego
The 32nd Annual Home Tour and Auction will take place in Owego on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Annette Schweiger, executive director of the Tioga County Council on the Arts, is excited about this year's show, and expects a good crowd to turn out to view Owego's historic and beautiful homes and businesses.
After only having one home on last year's tour due to the flood, Schweiger said this year features four homes located at 49 and 275 Front St. and 260 and 307 Main St., and an equal number of businesses including Owego's Parkview, Ye Olde Country Florist, Van Horn Jewelers, and the Tioga County Historical Society and Museum at 110 Front St. All those businesses and homes suffered significant damage during the flood, and have been renovated since.
"Come see what Owego has done since the flood," Schweiger said, adding that the TCCA office at 179 Front St. has also been remodeled to open the basement for classrooms or seminars on art.
Tioga County Historical Society Director Kevin Lentz said that being included in the home tour fits nicely with the Museum's O Tannenbaum event. Lentz said that he considers this year's display at the Museum, and the decorated trees and wreaths people are bidding on, is the best one yet. O Tannenbaum is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Historical Society, Lentz said. Bidding on the trees will be open until Dec. 15, right up until the museum's special late closing at 8 p.m. closing. The Home Tour will be a good chance for people to come in and see what's up for bids this year.
Beth Johnson said Owego's Parkview Restaurant at 145 Front St. will offer light refreshments and guided tours of the Parkview for Home Tour visitors. That's something Johnson said she enjoys and has gotten used to, figuring she has given over 100 tours of her ongoing project so far. She's hoping to have three rentable rooms ready by the end of December, available on a weekly or monthly basis. Long term plans call for the conversion of some second and all third floor rooms to hotel rooms in the future. Johnson said money is the main sticking point with converting rooms for hotel use, as there needs to be an expensive elevator and sprinkler system installed before she can get the necessary approval to open as a hotel.
Ye Olde Country Florist at 86 Main St. will be having raffles, with cookies and punch for guests during the home tour, according to owner Jack Zimmer. Additionally, visitors will receive a carnation or rose, Zimmer said. "It's a chance to show our wares," Zimmer added, "we'll have some pre-made arrangements here for people to see, touch and smell." Zimmer's dog Hershey will also be there - indeed it may be impossible to separate them. The old friendly dog follows Zimmer around and waits by the door if his master is out of sight.
Schweiger said that the Owego Elks Lodge at the corner of Church and Front streets has donated space for the reception and auction following the evening tour. Available for auction will be Buyer's Choice Dolls, artwork, baskets, stained glass works and other beautiful artistic and collectable items. Schweiger thanked Emil and Barb Kotasik for their hard work and help with the Elk's Lodge for this year's Home Tour.
Schwieger also thanked Ray and Linda Brisson for donating their time and organizing the auction, and Wendy Deis. "Wendy put in a lot of work organizing homes and businesses for the Tour," Schweiger said.
Tickets for the event are $10 for the 1 p.m. afternoon tour, and $15 for the evening tour which starts at 6 p.m. and includes admission to the auction at the Elks Club, which will start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be pre-purchased by calling TCCA at (607) 687-0785 or by stopping in at the Council on the Arts' 179 Front St. offices and ArtSpace Gallery.