This year will be the 52nd Annual Trees of Christmas at Merrehope and the F.W. Williams historic homes.
While people young and old have enjoyed touring and viewing the beautiful homes and the themed Christmas trees in the past, this year has more counties participating in the decorating; Clarke County and Jasper County are also getting involved and have sent volunteers to decorate a tree.
“We wanted to reach out to other businesses outside of Meridian, so we decided to add some groups from Clarke and Jasper counties,” stated Betty Lou Jones, President of the Meridian Restoration Foundation. “We’re tickled to be able to be able to get other people involved and know the stories just so people will have a different idea about these houses. A lot of people don’t know the history behind either house.”
Over forty trees will be decorated including JC Jasper County Center Stained Glass Class, The Clarke County Tribune, East Mississippi Regional Libraries, Enterprise Elementary Art Students, Clarke County Chamber of Commerce, Clarkco State Park and Archusa Lake, M&M Florist, Fantasy Cottage, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Friends of Chickasawhay River, and others.
Most of the trees that are decorated by Clarke County will be in the F.W. Williams home since the home itself has ties to Clarke County.
“A lot of the wood and floors came from a sawmill in Clarke County that was owned by Mr. Williams,” explained Betty Lou Jones. “The wood was milled in Clarke County and brought up to Meridian to build that house.”
Although 2020 has had its share of obstacles with the pandemic, the Meridian Restoration Foundation is confident that this year’s events can still take place and meet government standards.
“After careful consideration regarding the guidelines during the Covid-19 Pandemic and in recognition that we are able to present an outstanding event while adhering to rules and safety regulations of masks, hand sanitizer, temperature checking, questions regarding current status of the visitor and staff and social distancing, we are excited to announce that in keeping with our commitment to provide a stellar event each year for the pleasure of our visitors and enhance our tourism economic development mission, we invite you to bring you family, friends, co-workers and out of town guest to Trees of Christmas 2020 and ‘Making Merre With Our Neighbors,’” stated Betty Lou Jones.
The event will start with a Premiere Tour on Sunday, November 22, from 1-6 p.m. with music and refreshments. The traditional tours will be Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. November 23 through December 30. It will also be from 1-6 p.m. on four Sundays: November 29, December 6, December 13, and December 20.
The event will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Eve and Day.
The prices to attend the Premier Tour on Sunday, November 22, will be $20 for adults and $5 for students. All traditional Holiday Tours are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children under 4. There is a $1 discount for active military and senior citizens.
There is also a special feature this year to show thanks and appreciation for all health care workers who have become heroes during the pandemic. There will be free admission for any health care worker presenting their facility badge.
Come out and enjoy viewing the beautiful trees at Merrehope and the F.W. Williams homes and learn a little about the history of each house!