Anchorage, Alaska
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Club Members Gather
for 2003 Village Tours

On Saturday, January 11, 2002, the Arctic 56 held its annual tour of homes to showcase club member displays prepared for the holiday season. This annual event is one of the highlights of club membership and offers members and guests the opportunity to see first hand the creative work that goes behind putting together fanciful displays and vignettes. Along with the great displays, club members enjoy the social atmosphere and festive food that is often presented!

This years event was no exception as Gale & Rosemary Weatherell started off the village tour with their wonderful home displays. The Weatherell's put their creative talents to work around house with lots of scenes and vignettes. Coming into the front door you were greeted with a warm welcome and a Snow Village scene on a sideboard. As you made your way into their family room, you were suprised to see with one wall completely filled with a large selection of Snow Village vignettes! Not too far behind, Rosemary prepared a wonderful breakfast selection of foods to get us all prepared for the day. I particuarly remember the sticky buns! As other club members arrived, other vignettes were to be explored in the living room. I particuarly liked the D56 train traveling around the tree! All in all, Gale & Rosemary provided a warm welcome, wonderful breakfast treats and a large selection of Snow Village pieces for everyone to enjoy.

Next on the order was a short trip to Kathy Lawson's display of North Pole village. Kathy who is the club treasurer and long-standing member, has the complete North Pole collection. This year marked her first display for the tour and her display around her stone fireplace would please any North Pole fan. Kathy had her large selection of retired pieces on display for all to see in her lavish country home. Her buildings were neatly arranged on both the mantle and the hearth and provided an impressive view! It was very refreshing to see these great old pieces on display. Kathy's bright room allowed, club members to see the detail and enjoy the charm.

Moving further into midtown, the next stop on the tour was Sean's place. As club members entered his home, they were greeted with a large display of Christmas in the City aptly decorated for the holiday season on his coffee table. Sean created a comprehensive city town center with Times Tower as the focal point in front the bright light live christmas tree. Surrounded by commercial builidings in a pedestrian walkway, the Holy Name Church guarded one end of the square with live miniature bonzai trees while the Capital, serving as the town hall, marked the other. The whole display was carefully arrange on top of a specially built platform that was made to match the top of his mission style coffe table. The streets were crowded with horse drawn carriages, old cars and various people while real live neon lights flashed on above the streets. A true city sight!

Just behind Sean's display in the living room, guests were surprised to see a lavish North Pole display in the dining room bay window! Comprised of only FIVE plus one buildings and lots of elves, the North Pole display represented a scene reminiscent of Christmas town. Gathered around a custom made peppermint square, one found the post office with an actual storybook hand-painted pole, Santa's house with tall wooden soliders guarding the entrance, the reindeer barn, and more. High above the hand-crafted snow mountains, the Sweet Rock Candy Company was nicely arranged with glass crystals growing out of the snow and brightly lit. His recreation of Christmas town was complete with elves busy working to ready the sleigh for Santa's departure. Sean enjoyed expirmenting with a new village in anticipation of club upcoming revamp at Providence's Childrens Hospital later in 2003.

Finally, the tour concluded at Bev's house in Eagle River. Her North Pole village was like no other! She had every piece of North Pole on display in her downstairs basement. Comprising one complete corner her house, all one had to do was stand in front and look from left to right to see that Bev had carefully created a complete village with pieces old and new. Organizing her pieces to create neighborhoods in a town, there was lots to see with just one look. She even placed the recently retired Ice Palace under the ice! One feature that was particuarly attractive was the glittery backdrop that created a peaceful nighttime atmosphere. Bev was also the gracious host. She prepared wonderful homemade hors d'ouevres in her newly remodeled kithchen upstairs. Club members were delighted with large selection of savory treats and the mushroom appetizers were particularly delicious! After filling up on treats, we all headed back downstairs to take one last look her very large display.

All in all, Rosemary, Gale, Kathy, Sean and Bev were wonderful hosts who opened their homes to share the creativity, magic and fun. Club members had a great time visiting, socializing and taking in the unique ideas on village displays. The 2003 Village Home Tour was a great success! Thank you everyone for your contributions!

Special Thanks to Bev, Kathy, Sean, Gale, Rosemary!

Copyright 2003, Arctic 56 Collectors Club, Anchorage, Alaska
Last Updated March 21, 2003
Department 56, Copyright, Department 56, Inc., Eden Prairie, Minnesota