Adrian Martinez, an exchange student and senior at Churchill County High School, experienced many events in Fallon he would’ve never done in Valencia, Spain: prom, football games, and involvement with study body clubs.
But one experience he would like to check off his list before he returns home is to attend Grad Night at the Naval Air Station in June. Saturday’s annual Christmas Home Tour is providing him the opportunity to help make that happen for the Class of 2018.
“For us, this means we can have a celebration that’s better organized,” said Martinez, 16. “We don’t know how it would turn out if we did it by ourselves.”
For the past nine years during the holidays, local homeowners deck the halls and open their doors to the public to benefit graduating classes; seniors are assigned to each house as tour guides, including Martinez, at his host guardian’s home on Tumbleweed Drive.
“This is the first time we’re presenting our home in this event,” said Linda Loeppky, the host of Martinez. “It keeps high school seniors safe with the events they want to organize and celebrate.”
With six homes participating this year, the goal is to raise $3,000 through each ticket sold. At the time of purchase, attendees receive a map of cooperating homes and a story behind each home’s theme. Owners may provide indoor footwear to prevent dirtiness staining the interior.
To have six homes participate is perfect, said Sue Buckner, committee chair of the event.
“The number of participants fluctuate every year but people will be able to enjoy a full afternoon this year,” she said. “We’re a big valley and it takes time for everyone to spend time and see all of the houses.”
Although homeowners showcase holiday embellishments for locals to admire, they also share the stories behind their collections.
This year also is Buckner’s first to participate in the tour. At her home on Santa Fe Drive, she plans to show guests her collection of carolers and Norwegian Yule goats — all passed down from generations. “My husband and I always enjoy decorating, especially when our families come into town for the holidays,” she said. “We have a big home and we love sharing it with decorations.”
Martinez also will show guests the Loeppky’s Santa collection and homemade, wooden reindeer sculptures in the front yard.
“I’m excited for people to come over and enjoy it,” he said.
Buckner also said the tour is a great motivator to start decorating for the holidays. With that, she’s hoping this tour will inspire locals to host homes next year for variety.
“I think some people see it as a really big project,” she said. “The entire home has to be decorated and this year, we’re hosting it on an earlier date. It might seem overwhelming but we would love to get new homes involved.”
Buckner attendees are encouraged to leisurely visit as many participating homes during tour hours.