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Two historic holiday favorites to merge

The Green-Florence House was a favorite on last year’s tour.



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The Town of Jonesborough and Heritage Alliance are joining forces this Christmas.

And the results promise to be nothing short of miraculous.

“The Progressive Dinner has been the ultimate Christmas event for the region for nearly 40 years,” said Deborah Montanti, executive director for the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennesee and Southwest Virginia.

But as well as it had been working, “it’s time to change it up a little bit,” she said.

That change, she said, involves the merger of the beloved Progressive Dinner, now in its 40th year, with another Christmas favorite, the town’s Holiday Tour of Homes.

Now titled “The Colors of Christmas,” this year’s event will continue to celebrate and help to fund preservation efforts in and around Jonesborough, all while expanding both the homes to be visited and the number of guests to be welcomed.

“We realized by melding these two events, we would do exactly what we wanted to do,” Montanti said, adding that both events actually got their beginnings through the Jonesborough Civic Trust and want to continue on with that legacy.

Colors of Christmas will feature eight historic structures, each decorated in holiday finery, and filled with storytellers and various locations throughout the evening.

The Colors of Christmas will also include two seatings of “An Elegant Repast,” a delectable four-course meal set in another of Jonesborough’s historic buildings, the town’s McKinney Center for the Arts.

While this year’s dinner won’t be progressive, organizers promise it will be every bit as delicious, and will include entertainment to fill the space between courses, including several historic vignettes to capture the season.

Guests will have the option of going on the self-guided tour alone, with a ticket price of $15, or combine it with the dinner for a cost of $90 each. Those who prefer the dinner alone can purchase separate tickets for $80 each. Ticket prices will increase after Nov. 15.

Proceeds from the event will continue to support local restoration efforts.

That effort will be especially apparent during the tour, which will provide the opportunity to focus on a restoration which does more than repair old walls and ceilings.

In the past, Montanti said, locations for both the home tour and dinner had to fit a particular criteria that ruled out smaller historic treasures. This year, that all will change.

Colors of Christmas will be held on Dec. 2. The tour will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and your choice of dinner at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m.

While more tickets will be available this year, space is still limited, and Montanti encourages making your reservations early.

For more information, call (423) 753-1010.