Volunteers spruce up antebellum houses for annual holiday tour

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 5, 2002

NATCHEZ &045; This year’s late Thanksgiving has meant more than a shortened shopping season. It’s also meant a shortened decorating season.

The loss of those few days is especially apparent to anyone charged with putting up garlands and bows in a gargantuan antebellum house for the city’s many Christmas events.

Gwyn Bacot and her fellow Auburn Garden Club members have been getting the most out of the little time they have to prepare for Auburn’s first appearance in the annual Candlelight Christmas Tour of Homes.

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Late Thursday evening, Bacot and Sue Stallings were down to the last few boxes of baubles and lights. But it hasn’t been easy to do in so few days.

&uot;We’ve worked hard for a week,&uot; Bacot said.

Stallings’ responsibility was festooning Auburn’s famous staircase, the background of thousands of photographs.

&uot;I’ve been on the staircase for three days,&uot; she said.

Bacot said the group customarily has a bit longer to prepare for the holidays. &uot;It really takes two good weeks.&uot;

But Bacot said everything will be ready by Saturday afternoon, as tour-goers filter in to Auburn, the last stop on the candlelight tour, from Rosalie and Melrose.

And even thought Bacot said she didn’t know exactly what kind of hors-d’oeuvres would be served to the weary tourists, the garden club members would manage to get it all together.

&uot;It will all be done,&uot; she said.

The Candlelight Christmas Tour of Homes is from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14. Tickets are $10.