Holiday home tour begins this weekend

Thursday, November 29, 2007 | 7:18 p.m. CST; updated 3:14 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

COLUMBIA — This weekend marks the 24th annual Holiday Home Tour held by the Women’s Symphony League. The tour takes visitors to four homes throughout Columbia.

The lineup includes the home of MU men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson and his wife Marcheita; Marlese and L. Dale Loveall; Judith and Ed Chmielewski; and John and Karla DeSpain. Karla DeSpain is the school board president for Columbia Public Schools. The tours run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

“All of the homes are dressed for the holidays,” said Marsha Sergent, the general chairwoman of the tour.

Homes are selected by a committee with the purpose of showing different types of homes in Columbia, Sergent said. Tourists are encouraged to begin the day at Boone Landing, where a bake sale, gypsy boutique and silent auction will be held throughout the weekend. The auction will feature Christmas Santas and gift certificates to spas and bed and breakfasts. The gypsy boutique has an assortment of goods.

“It’s kind of like a really fabulous garage sale,” Sergent said.

Mo-X is providing round trip shuttle service between Boone Landing and the Loveall home. Normally, the home tour is held at the Missouri Theatre but, because of renovations, the festivities were moved to Boone Landing.

Visitors can start their tour at any one of the four homes, Sergent said. The Women’s Symphony League will sell tickets at each location, including Boone Landing.

Tickets are $15 at the door, cash or check only, and $12 in advance. They are not required for activities at Boone Landing and houses cannot be visited more than once. Tickets can be purchased at

Proceeds from the bake sale, boutique, silent auction and house tours will go to the Missouri Symphony Society and, this year, a portion will go toward renovations at the Missouri Theatre.

“It’s very much of a ‘start the holiday’ kind of tradition,” Sergent said.

For home addresses and more information go to

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