The Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra will tune you into the holiday spirit today with its annual Christmas Stroll.
The 20th annual event that features seven homes decorated for the holidays runs from noon to 5 p.m. Businesses may be toured in any order.
Tickets cost $25 and are considered a donation to the symphony. Advance tickets sales are encouraged, and can be obtained at Avalon Floral, Willow on Water, Brent Douglas and all Eau Claire Festival Food stores.
For more information call the symphony at 715-832-6366 or visit CVSymphony.org.
Formerly known as First Baptist Church, the iconic landmark at 416 Niagara St., near Randall Park, is now Renew Church, whose community room will serve as this year’s host venue from noon to 4 p.m. today. Tickets can be purchased there, and coffee, cookies and restrooms will be available. Patrons may enter the church through the front entrance on Fourth Avenue, or if a no steps access is preferred, use the side entrance on Niagara Street.
The locations on this year’s stroll:
Lauren, Andrew Lierman residence
719 Fourth Ave.
Melinda Daubitz residence
713 Fourth Ave.
Here’s a bit of little-known Eau Claire trivia; in one single city block in the Randall Park neighborhood there are three sets of two “mirror image” houses. This year’s tour includes one set of the twins built in 1891. Begin with the Lierman home on the left, the historic “Miria Gans” house, to experience “a Christmas in Denmark.” From there, cross the shared driveway to the Daubitz home, brimming with vintage treasures; Melinda owns “The Sparrow Antiques” store in Banbury Place.
Tom, Deb Lockhart residence
Riverfront Terrace Apartments, 225 Riverfront Terrace, unit 117
Another “first” for the stroll, a sun-drenched first-floor apartment overlooking Phoenix Park. The Lockharts are sharing the joys of their urban lifestyle, with a decorating assist by Kim from Willow on Water to augment Tom’s musical instruments, which are always part of their interior landscape.
Julie, Marty Stromberger residence
210 Oakwood Place
Eau Claire’s grandes dames of high Victorian architecture are clustered along the intersection of State Street and Summit Avenue, including the historic Winslow-Arnold-Giffen house. Beloved by many owners over the years, this distinctive Queen Anne has recently undergone additional carefully crafted restorations by the Strombergers, the current “stewards” of this home. Parking note: There is no parking available on Oakwood Place. Eau Claire Ford Lincoln and Ace Auto Mall will provide shuttle service both to and from the house; strollers are encouraged to park near the State Street entrance of UW-Eau Claire’s Hibbard Hall parking lot.
Sue, Ron Waits residence
540 Foxmoor Lane
Who doesn’t love a log home? Enhanced by Brent Douglas Floral, Christmas is always around the corner in this comfortably elegant log home set at the edge of the woods. In the years since the Waitses last shared their home with strollers, they have incorporated architectural elements created by regional artists, making their cozy retreat even more special.
Judith Hull residence
Grandview Heights Apartments, 4740 Keystone Crossing, unit 220
Boasting a unique combination of both expansive views and the convenience of nearby shopping and dining, Hull recognized the unique combination of amenities available in these newly constructed apartment homes and seized the opportunity to move in — providing her a new venue to decorate for Christmas. (Greenpoint Properties will have other apartments open for inspection as available.)
Ann Thornburg residence
909 North Moonlight Drive, Altoona
After living their lives in other parts of the country, several generations of a family with deep Eau Claire roots are now united under one roof in this newly constructed masterpiece on Lake Altoona. Enjoy the expansive Lake Altoona views, charmed by the intimacy of exquisite furnishings, and have your heart warmed by the Christmas decorating.
Modicum Brewing Co.
3732 Spooner Ave., Altoona
This is the stroll’s newly emergent business discovery. Located at the intersection of Highland/Spooner Avenue and Fairfax Street, experience one of the area’s newest breweries and tasting rooms. Strollers will be invited to try several of their brews (or alternatively enjoy a hot cider). There will be hourly tours of their “Malt Vault” (this space was formerly a bank and came complete with a vault), along with a tutorial in the fine art of brewing. You will enjoy the effervescent Christmas decorations, while other beverages and snacks will be available for purchase — including sandwiches by another newly emergent business, Red Coal BBQ.