by Sarah Einselen
Lisa Weigand is pretty sure there are six decorated Christmas trees in her family’s house.
The Weigand home is one of two that visitors may tour Saturday as part of Winamac’s annual “Winter Wonderland” festival. The inaugural Christmas home tour will be in addition to several activities and events, including an 11 a.m. parade, scheduled to take place at midmorning Saturday.
“My husband and I own a business in Winamac, and we’ve enjoyed Winter Wonderland every year,” said Weigand, who with her husband, Tim, owns Ace Hardware/Radio Shack. While the two love entertaining visitors, she added, travel arrangements around Christmas occasionally mean they go elsewhere to celebrate.
“A lot of times we decorate, and it’s just for ourselves,” she said. “It’s kind of neat to think we could share our home with others.”
Some of the family’s trees are decorated according to themes: The tree in the kitchen features cookie cutters and gingerbread and a basement tree is covered in teaching-related items and ornaments Weigand has received from her pupils over the years.
Tours of the Weigands’ Star City home and of the home owned by Jay and Sarah Schooler in Winamac will start at 5 p.m. Saturday in order to allow visitors a look at the outdoor lights in the evening.
At the Schooler family residence just outside Winamac, Sarah Schooler estimates about eight small trees under four feet tall are placed throughout the house alongside five full-size trees.
“We wanted to do something for every taste, so we have a more traditional tree, we have a funky tree in my 9-year-old daughter’s room and a more vintage look on yet another tree, Schooler said. “A little bit for every taste.”
The Schoolers enlisted the help of her mother and sisters for decorating ideas. They turned many items to new uses to inspire people to decorate on a budget.
“I’m excited to share it with other people,” Schooler said. “My sisters and my mom came up with some great ideas. The creative juices were flowing and they just couldn’t be stopped.”
This is the first year she’s decorated the house so thoroughly, Schooler said. The home tour provided the impetus.
“Honestly, I thought it would be good motivation to do some of the things I wanted to do on the house anyway,” said Schooler. “I knew it would be a lot of work to get it the way I wanted it, because I’m very particular.”
Earlier on Saturday, the town’s traditional winter festivities will start at 10 a.m. and run until about 2 p.m. Vendors will set up booths around downtown Winamac and free concerts by local bands will take place at the opera house, the courthouse and the Dilts building.
Entries in this year’s gingerbread house contest will be on display in the hallway of H&R Block. The Lions Club will collect toys and Boy Scouts will collect coats for children who might otherwise go without.
A full schedule of events and map of vendor locations are available at the chamber office, located inside Refined at 102 N. Monticello St. in Winamac, and at local banks. More information is also available by calling the chamber at 574-946-6123.
Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at email@example.com or 574-732-5151.
WANT TO GO?
What: Winamac holiday home tour
When: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Jay and Sarah Schooler’s house, 57 N. 75 East in Winamac; and Tim and Lisa Weigand’s residence, 8438 S. 350 East in Star City.
Cost: Tickets are $7 each and available from the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce office located in Refined, 102 N. Monticello St. in Winamac, or by calling Angie Anspach at 574-270-0016.