Take a tour of the best-decorated homes

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The "Christmas Tour of Homes" fundraiser event is this weekend.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter



HILLSVILLE —Several residents with a knack for decorating will open up to holiday revelers on the “Christmas Tour of Homes” Saturday and Sunday.
The Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation — also a stop on the tour — sponsors the holiday activity that features about 10 homes, plus at least one church and business, according to Elizabeth Huff, the foundation’s president.
Tourists will get to see a variety of decorating and home design styles.
There’s the “grandma’s house” of Guida Nester and family in Hillsville, the contemporary home of Frank and Norma Bobbitt with its view of Buffalo Mountain and the elegant and whimsical look to Parke Quesenberry’s home.
Julie Nester starts decorating her home with the advent of fall and keeps going all the way through the holidays.
“I do a Halloween tree, too, so I guess I start in September,” Julie Nester said.
As the months advance, the tree set up for trick-or-treat gradually transforms into silver-and-gold Victorian-themed tannenbaum.
“It takes a long time,” she says, indicating the ornament-laden tree. “I’m slow. I’m picky about where everything goes on it.”
The Nesters continue the theme throughout their home. Among the many decorations is Guida’s favorite, an ornament that says, “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”
The Bobbitts’ passive solar home out on Greenberry Road — designed to take in as much sun through large banks of windows as possible in the winter to heat the home and cooled by cross-ventilation in the summer — attracts attention throughout the year anyway, Norma Bobbitt explained. People are curious about those features, plus the vistas that open up on the mountains visible across the horizon.
“It’s all about the views,” she said. “The Christmas decorations are really accents.”
The Bobbitts will welcome the curious who want to learn about how the orientation of the windows, the porches outside and the high ceilings work as an aid to the indoor comfort and energy efficiency of the house as part of the Christmas tour.
“This way the ones who’ve been waiting to come can come,” she said.
Bobbitt is happy that the revenues will assist in the operations of the historic home that once belonged to the family of self-made man and industrialist George L. Carter in Hillsville.
North of Hillsville, visitors to Parke Quesenberry’s home will be greeted at the door by a winter wonderland scene.
Decorated with equal parts whimsy and country style, the tour also gives Quesenberry the chance to show off the home she designed and her husband built.
“I love history and think historical sites are something that we need to preserve, and I love Christmas, so it kind of fit the bill,” Quesenberry explained.

Where: About a dozen sites, around Carroll County. Houses are identified by red, white and green balloons at the entrances.
Times: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 4.
Tickets: $10 per person. Available at the Time Factory, Nuckolls Drug, the Carter Home and the Carroll County Historical Museum or call (276) 728-5600 or 728-7737. Funds raised will go towards the restoration of the third floor of the Carter Home.