The decorators are hard at work this week, preparing their porches for the second annual Vankleek Hill Christmas Porch Tour on Saturday, November 19. Ticket-holders will be able to visit five decorated porches, each with an outdoor vendor, sometimes serving up refreshments. Along with their tour map, visitors will find the hints for the Gnome Scavenger Hunt and can complete the entry form printed on their maps.

Christmas will be the highlight at three church halls in town where holiday decorations, figurines and more–both old and new– will be for sale. Added to the mix at Knox Church Hall, Trinity Church Hall and St. John’s Church Hall will be creative vendors with hand-made decorations (i.e. wreaths and more) and Christmas edibles. Each of the three churches will have a bake table and a set-up for folks to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and some treats.

The whole town will be busy on November 19.

Tour-goers can walk from porch to porch as part of the main event, organized by Jade Garden owner Erin Dawson and Pink Bow Tie owner Rebecca Bradley. The idea came to them in 2021 when they learned that the annual Christmas Home Tour, organized each year by The Review newspaper, was not taking place.

Again this year, with no traditional home tour taking place, the two business owners put together the outdoor Porch Tour.

The Review and Louise Sproule have spearheaded a complementary initiative happening the same day. Called ‘Tea and Christmas Treasures’, three church halls will have vendors selling old and new Christmas decor items of all kinds. There will be tea and treats available at each church hall, Sproule notes.

There will be a quilt show happening at Knox Church inside the church proper on November 19, Sproule said. And Église Saint-Grégoire will also have the church open on Higginson Street, and will be serving tea and treats inside, and there will be a bake table and a craft display indoors.

Admission to all of the churches is free, but there is a modest fee if visitors want to enjoy tea and treats.

Indigo Hill Dye Studio at 26 Main Street East will have a pop-up shop at their location on November 19 and Arbor Gallery at 36 Home Avenue will also be open, with pop-up shops, in addition to their gift shop inside.

In the meantime, the Vankleek Hill Creating Centre at 11 High Street will be open for one of its six consecutive weekends presenting different crafters each weekend as part of the annual Christmas Craft Fair. Arbor Gallery is also hosting a pop-up shop in addition to its “The Four Sisters’ exhibit and the Vankleek Hill Museum will be open with special displays inside.

Tickets for the Vankleek Hill Christmas Porch Tour are $20 per person. The ticket price includes a map of the porch locations, the Gnome Scavenger Hunt entry form and a holiday lunch at the Windsor Tavern. Call 613-678-6008 (Jade Garden) or 613-678-3223 (Pink Bow Tie) to reserve your Porch Tour ticket (tickets are limited) and you will be asked to book your lunch time when you purchase your ticket.

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