Sparkling, glittery and glowing, Monument Avenue shines like a thousand jewels at Christmastime. Here, the homeowners dress the houses in their very best holiday finery — ropes of lights, extravagant wreaths and garlands seem to light up every porch and tree. This year, for the first time ever, Monument Avenue will host the 47th Annual Fan Holiday House Tour on Dec. 12 and 13 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Scott McLaughlin of the Fan District Association says, "The houses on Monument are always the ones most attended on our tour. We've gotten a great response from the residents on Monument who agreed to open their homes to benefit the Fan District Association for this special, one-year-only tour." There will be 10 houses in all. Additional details, including where to purchase tickets, can be found online at fantourrichmond.com or by calling McLaughlin at 615-7335.
In addition, if you'd like a little historical context, The Valentine Richmond History Center will offer a guided nighttime tour, Holiday Glitter: Monument Avenue After Dark Walking Tour, on Dec. 26 and 27 at 6 p.m. The tour starts at the Lee Monument and as you walk, you will find out how the street originally developed, tidbits about interesting architectural features and a few facts regarding the architects who designed some of the houses. "Most people drive along Monument during the holidays," says the History Center's Lesley Bruno, "but most don't walk it at night," when the decorations are at their most beautiful. Tickets are $10 and reservations for the tour are required. Call 649-0711, ext. 301, for more information.