Hampton to host Holiday Tour of Homes

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Nita Rucker of Hampton loves decorating her home for the Christmas season. This year, she’ll get the chance to share that passion with her community, when her home is among those featured in the city’s upcoming Holiday Tour of Homes.

The Holiday Tour of Homes in Hampton will be held December 12 from 2 until 5 p.m. Special photo

“I do a lot of decorating and I always have,” says Nita Rucker, secretary of the Hampton Historic Preservation Commission. “I’ve been collecting Hallmark ornaments for probably 35 years. This may be my last year of decorating my home. It takes me a couple of weeks to put everything up, so I thought I might slow down with it. So, this year, I thought I’d open my house up for the tour.”

The Holiday Tour of Homes is scheduled for Dec. 12, from 2-5 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 in advance or $12 on the day of the tour. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Hampton Main Street Program.

Participants will have an opportunity to participate in a self-guided tour of five decorated homes in downtown Hampton. The city’s Main Street Director, Denise McKay, hopes to shine a positive light on homes in the city with the returning tour.

“It has been several years since we have held a Christmas Tour of Homes,” says McKay. “We are excited to be offering this event again this year and are looking forward to this being an annual event.”

The tour will begin at the Depot, and will visit homes on Oak Street, West Main Street, McDonough Street, in the Lake Hampton subdivision and The Hamptons subdivision.

McKay says what stands out to her most about the homes on the tour are the different decorating styles featured in each home, and how they reflect the personality of the homeowners themselves.

“The homes selected showcase the many different personalities and styles that make up our unique city,” she says. “Individuals will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the home and the occupants, past and present, as they tour the homes.”

McKay adds that the tour’s popularity over the years demonstrates residents’ support for the community, and their holiday spirit.

“Hampton is a warm, caring and welcoming community,” she says. “In my opinion, hosting a tour of homes helps create an air of excitement and anticipation as you look at the various and unique styles of the individuals that have opened up their homes for people to tour. It’s just because people truly love celebrating the holidays. They go all out decorating, and they have a truly giving nature, and they love sharing that with other people.”

Hampton Mayor Steve Hutchison’s home will be among those featured in the tour. His wife, Linda, jokes that if her husband had his way, her home would look less traditional, and more like something out of a Chevy Chase film.

“Steve and I both love decorating for Christmas,” Linda Hutchison says. “However, if I would agree, he would have a Clark Griswold house! Instead, we do very traditional to the era of our house. We will enjoy telling everyone the history of our home and some of the changes that have been made over the years.”

The tour will also include an evening of holiday music and appetizers in the Depot. McKay says a full program for the occasion has not yet been finalized, but will be available at the Depot on the day of the event.

Tickets for the event, along with a map of homes on the tour, are available at the Train Depot. For more information, call 770-946-4306.