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December 7, 2010 > Home Tour for the holidays

Home Tour for the holidays

By Julie Grabowski

Traditional songs and homesick hearts remind us that there's no place like home for the holidays. But how about enjoying someone else's home? Residents of Niles offer their finest holiday decor and Christmas cheer as part of the Niles Holiday Home Tour, Saturday, December 11. From noon to 5 p.m. holiday revelers can take a self-guided tour of homes decorated in festive styles.

In addition to sparkling lights, animated features, gingerbread houses, and candy treats, one location will feature a collection of over one hundred Department 56 houses. Now in its 14th year, the Home Tour is a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the charm and creativity of the season.

"The historic presence of Niles is an experience in itself," says Niles Main Street Association board member and tour coordinator Diana Liles.

Established in the 1850s, the town of Niles has best been known as a railroad junction, the home of Essanay Studios and Charlie Chaplin movies, and once boasted the largest nursery in the state with the largest rose plantation in California. Today, Niles is a historic shopping district and flourishing center of community activity with annual car shows, antique fairs, parades, silent film festivals, and the Niles Canyon Railway. "We're a festive little town," says Liles.

And what could be more festive than Niles at Christmas? Maps for the Home Tour will be distributed at the Niles Depot in Niles Town Plaza where tickets can also be purchased the day of the event. The first stop is Color Me Quilts, which is hosting refreshments as well as representatives from Blue Star Moms, a military support through service group in the East Bay. Attendees are then invited to enjoy visiting in Niles and take in the sights.

In addition to an opportunity to admire beautiful holiday homes, Santa and his sleigh will be at the Niles Depot from 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. listening to Christmas wishes and posing for pictures; Saturday is the last opportunity to bid in a silent auction for one of a dozen table top trees decorated by Niles merchants. The trees reflect the style and flavor of various Niles shops; proceeds benefit needy families in Niles. Trees are on display at Color Me Quilts, 37485 Niles Boulevard, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets for the Home Holiday Tour are $15 when purchased in advance or $20 on the day of the tour. Tickets may be purchased online at or from Niles shops including Color Me Quilts, Antique Treasures, My Friends and I, and Keith's Collectibles. It is recommended to start the tour by 3 p.m. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Niles Main Street Association, which is dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of the historic Niles District.

Niles Holiday Home Tour
Saturday, December 11
Noon - 5 p.m.
Niles Depot, Niles Town Plaza
37592 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(510) 742-9868
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 on event day

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