The 9th Annual Semmes Christmas Tour is Saturday, December 9, with the Tasting Tour being from 3-5 p.m. and the Homes Tour, 3-7 p.m. The event is sponsored by Semmes Woman's Club with advertising sponsorship by the City of Semmes and Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson. The Tour has been endorsed as an ALABAMA 200 Bicentennial event as part of the "Exploring our Places" theme of the three-year celebration.
Tour committee members are Diane Moore and Terri Nelson, co-chairs; Ann Phillips, Sharadee Davis, Dani Dyess, Mandi Robison, Miranda Wilder, Melissa Parks, Alice Baker, Leigh Quinnelly, Linda Ryals and Paula Lindsey.
Tickets are a $10 per person donation in advance and are available at Semmes Senior Center, Meggie B's, Hickory Pit and online at Eventbrite.com. Admission is $12 at the door. Guests will be given a map of Tour sites when they arrive at Allentown Elementary School, the starting point. Proceeds from the Tour will benefit a new Semmes Senior Center pavilion project and other SWC ongoing projects.
The Tour begins with the Taste of Semmes from 3-5 p.m. at Allentown Elementary School, 10330 Howells Ferry Road in Semmes. Tasting Tour partners include Chef Rob & Co., Chick-fil-A, Chill Yogurt, Cindy’s Cakes, Foosackly’s, Ginger Chambliss Caterer, Greer’s, Hickory Pit Too, The Kraken Catering Co., Los Rancheros, Moe’s Original BBQ, Papa John’s Pizza, Semmes House of Pizza, Subway, Walgreens, Walmart, Winn Dixie and WOOPS. Hickory Pit has been a consistent sponsor since the beginning of the Tour.
Santa Claus (Rob Bearden) and the Grinch (Robert Moore) will rotate to different sites--Tasting Tour and "Whoville" at Camellia Park. Bearden is a retired educator, having served as assistant principal at Semmes Elementary School for many years. Moore, a retired insurance adjustor, began his Grinch career playing the Dr. Seuss character for an extended family at Christmas; his appearance is now a tradition.
The Homes Tour includes three private residences, a She Shed, six businesses and Camellia Park, dressed as Whoville. The homes, all decorated in the individual style of the owners, are those of Alicia and Mark McKee, Kathy and Bob Stacy and Brandee and Jody Brunson; the She Shed owner is Teani and Alan Parker.
The most prominent feature in the McKee home is an extremely large snow-flocked Christmas tree. Kathy and Bob Stacy's decorations include a room with antique toys--a train that runs around a track, a small display of Santas left over from Bob's childhood. The Brunson home showcases a different theme for each room--traditional red and green, Victorian elegant and natural earth colors and decorations. And Teani Parker's She Shed is all elves: they are everywhere!
Shops on the Tour include Meggie B's Gifts and More, Bella and Bow's Pet Market (Bow is a cute, fluffy white puppy), Ruby Blue Boutique and Southern Tanning and Spa, all located in Harmony Corners on Snow Road. Stokley's Garden Express features poinsettias in every color; many live, fragrant Christmas trees and gift items for the last-minute shopper. Most of these shops offer various discounts and most will extend store hours to accomodate "tourists." Air Specialty Inc. Heating and Air Conditioning promises a "Christmas surprise" this year. Much of the decorations there are unique in that they are made on site with materials left over from the company's work.
The 2017 Semmes Christmas Tour has something new this year. Visitors have an opportunity to win very nice prizes donated by local business partners. The process goes like this: Guests will receive a TOUR map at the Tasting Tour. To be eligible for the Reward Prize Drawing, guests will have their maps punched at all Christmas Tour stops. They will turn in the fully punched map at the last stop to be elegible to win a prize. The drawing will be held on Monday, December 11 and the winners notified.
Prize donors include Air Specialty, Inc; Bella & Bow's Pet Market; Captain D's; China Doll Seafood; Family Hair Styles by Belinda; Jarvis Nursery, JTEE Signs; Jerry's Rockhound Center; Lance Boggan Photography; Latham Bee Farm; Magnolia Bay Soaps; Meg & Me Designs; Meggie B's Gifts; Moe's Original BBQ; Rocky's Drug & Mercantile; Phyllis Hilton, ISO4U; Ruby Blue Boutique; Semmes House of Pizza; Semmes Pharmacy; SSI Group; LLC; Stokley's Garden Express; Target and Terri Kudron, Tupperware Consultant.
In addition to SWC members, student volunteers will be on hand to help where needed. Mary G. Montgomery High School Azalea Trail Maids are Savannah Herrington; Kennedy Smith; Makenna Crone; Samantha Edwards; Aryn Laird and Bri Montgomery. Camellia Maids are Abby Pratt and Meagan Sellers. And MGM student volunteers include Leica Faith Barnhart, Tucker Musgrove, Hannah Miller, Maleah Thompson, Summer Poole, Hugh Mitchell and Key Club members.
Semmes Woman's Club is a 501(C)(3) non-profit community organization who primary focus areas are education, historical preservatioon and beautification in Semmes. It was established in 1954.