Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Santa Claus has several early visits scheduled for Orange County ahead of Christmas, and one includes the annual holiday event at the Heritage House.
The Heritage House Museum, located at 905 W. Division St. in downtown Orange, will hold its annual “Christmas with Santa” open house event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 11, and Thursday, Dec. 12.
The 36th annual event will feature Santa Claus, who will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit with children and get those last minute gift ideas. There will also be free tours of the house offered during this time, as well as refreshments in the kitchen. As with previous years, a small fee is being requested for children wishing to have a photograph taken with Santa Claus.
The event is a well kept tradition in Orange and is anticipated by dozens of area residents.
“This is one of our more popular events,” said Linda Garrett of the Heritage House Museum. “The house has a turn of the century appeal that people really appreciate, and it has become a Christmas tradition for them and their children.”
The two story home, which is built from native pine lumber, is two stories tall, has a finished attic and five fireplaces.
Each room of the house is decorated to appear as it might have looked in the early 1900s. In the past, tours have been available each night as docents provided information about the collections and the house itself.
Garrett said there have been some additions, such as the sale of Heritage House Museum ornaments, and alterations made to the event this year, which she believes guests will enjoy.
“We have added a lot of new decorations and items to the house this year, so even those people who have been here before will appreciate the changes,” Garrett explained. “The house has its historic charm but it definitely has a fresher look to it.”
The Heritage House did not hold the yearly event in 2005 and 2008 because of Hurricanes Rita and Ike, respectively. However, when the event did return in 2006 and 2009 following those storms, it was met with near record attendance each night.
Garrett knows there are many other Christmas events available for people to select from, but she believes the Heritage House’s charm and the opportunity to meet Santa Claus up-close and personal make the “Christmas with Santa” event a one-of-a-kind experience.
“The children just love the opportunity to talk to Santa Claus one more time before Christmas,” Garrett said. “And the house has a unique charm all its own. That’s why people come back every year.”
Call the Heritage House Museum at 409-886-5385 or visit www.heritagehouseoforangecounty.com for more information.