Some of the area’s finest historic and contemporary homes will open their doors Sunday, Dec. 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. for the 16th annual Sugar Plum Tour.
The Sugar Plum Tour is Akron’s premier holiday home tour and the signature fundraiser of the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. Since 2001, thousands of tourgoers have experienced the twinkling lights, roaring fires, sparkling trees and extraordinary holiday decorations of nearly 90 homes throughout Greater Akron. Last year’s Sugar Plum Tour raised almost $110,000 for the fund, which supports programs that positively impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as well as Greater Akron as a whole.
This year’s tour will showcase five exquisitely decorated homes in Bath, Copley, Firestone Park and Highland Square. Sponsors will also be invited to a private party at an exclusive sixth residence in Bath from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The first home on the tour is a 1928 Tudor Revival-style house on Merriman Road whose mid-century modern furnishings are in juxtaposition with its Tudor Revival architecture. Many of the home’s original features are still intact, including wrought-iron ornamentation and curtain rods. A few steps away, guests will tour a Georgian Revival-style house that displays the original owners’ grandfather clock on the staircase. The maid’s quarters of this stately home has been transformed into a charming retreat for Airbnb travelers. Next on the tour is a 1917 Dutch Colonial home that was among the first 100 houses built in the Firestone Park neighborhood. After purchasing the home in 1988, its current owners restored several of the house’s original features, including a sunroom with windows overlooking the impressive garden.
The fourth stop on the tour is a beautiful contemporary house built in 2001 on a secluded cul-de-sac in Bath Township. The home has a traditional classic exterior, with a more open, contemporary interior that showcases the couple’s collection of sleighs, including a full-size sleigh driven by a Katherine’s Collection Santa in the living room. Another suite of the house will delight Star Wars fans with themed décor from the iconic fantasy series. Finally, nestled in the woods in Copley, tourgoers will visit a one-of-a-kind geodesic home owned by an award-winning photographer. His home is his studio, filled with fascinating art and collections, including industrial-style lamps made from salvaged machine parts.
The Patron Party home is a 10,000-square-foot stunner in Bath. This gorgeous estate sits on 60 acres of the former Lauray Farm property, home to Ray and Laura Firestone, and still includes the Firestone family’s stables, arena and barn. Its décor has been described as “Aspen meets the Hamptons” because of its elegant simplicity and lodge-style design.
Tickets for the tour are on sale now at www.sugarplumtour.org. General admission tickets are $35 and include the five-home, self-guided tour. Guests who purchase tickets by Oct. 31 will receive a $5 discount off the price of admission. Sponsorships begin at $500 and include the self-guided tour of five homes; an invitation to the private, catered party at an exclusive sixth residence in Bath; and a limited-edition holiday ornament. Additional commemorative ornaments designed by local artist Claudia Zeber-Martell will be available for $30 while supplies last.
Cash-only general admission tickets can also be purchased the day of the event at Angel Falls Coffee Company, 792 W. Market St. in Akron. Both printed and digital tour guides with maps of the home locations will be available to tourgoers. For more details, visit www.sugarplumtour.org.
The 2017 Sugar Plum Tour is presented by Matt and Lisa Kaulig. All proceeds from the event benefit the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation.