A Few Clouds
59°FA Few CloudsFull Forecast

Home for the Holidays Housewalk moves to Saturday

Committee recognizes conflict with lighted parade, non-festival activities

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:00 p.m. CST
(Herald File Photo )
Kay Hemmersbach and her daughter-in-law Karen Hemmersbach check out the dining room of Tom Langland and Penny Olson-Langland’s home during the 2012 Home for the Holidays Housewalk. Annually held on Friday, the Thanksgiving-weekend festival’s signature event will move to Saturday this year.

Home for the Holidays in 2012 celebrated its 20th anniversary as the signature seasonal event in downtown Morris. Over the past 20 years, the Thanksgiving-weekend festival has grown to include several events centered on family fun.

The cornerstone of the weekend, however, has always been the housewalk.  Over the years, the housewalk has drawn thousands of people to the city of Morris and Grundy County, and has also raised thousands of dollars for downtown beautification projects, scholarships, and community organizations like Grundy Community Volunteer Hospital and the Grundy County Historical Society.

As plans get under way for the 21st annual event, the committee has announced a change to this year’s housewalk.

“After thoughtful consideration, the committee has elected to move the housewalk to the Saturday following Thanksgiving, as opposed to the day after,” said Diane Sprole, co-chair of the housewalk committee.

“Over the years we’ve come to understand that many people still have to work on the Friday after Thanksgiving and that, combined with the explosive growth in the popularity of Black Friday, has impacted attendance.”

Deb Baker, who serves as the chairman of the Home for the Holidays organization, acknowledged that the growing popularity of another of the festival’s events has also contributed to this decision.

“The lighted holiday parade and lighting of Chapin Park, which began a few years ago, has become a truly magical part of the weekend, drawing large crowds,” Baker said.

“We realized that we may have been competing with ourselves for attendance at the housewalk with families that opted to bring small children down to the parade and vice versa, so we decided to make the most of both events by changing the day of the walk.”

With the transition of the day for the house walk, the committee will also usher in a new effort to promote a common theme among the homes displayed. The 2013 theme will feature older homes of Morris, those rich in history and timely architecture. If you’ve ever thought, “if these walls could talk…”, and you believe that you have a home that could tell a unique story, the committee would be interested in hearing from you. 

The date for this year’s housewalk will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. For more information please contact the committee co-chairs Penny Olson-Langland at pennyolsonlangland@gmail.com or Diane Sprole at dsprole@comcast.net.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Morris Daily Herald.