Christmas Tour of Homes set for Dec. 3

By JENNIFER MAIER / Community Columnist

It isn’t something you would expect to see when you walk in the door of your local florist, but for Lesa Nivens of Gail’s Columbiana Florist, the idea of building a tree in the middle of her store just seemed like the thing to do.

Nivens, whose flower shop will be featured on the Columbiana Christmas Tour of Homes on Saturday, Dec. 3, said the idea came to her employee Tiffany Miller this past summer as she and Lesa were preparing floral arrangements at the Region’s PGA Golf Tournament.

Nivens and Miller had a nice shady spot underneath a big tree where they could assemble their arrangements without direct sun wilting the flowers. Miller looked up at the branch of the beautiful old tree and thought that it would be a fun idea to build a tree in the center of Nivens’ shop.

Nivens liked the idea, and for the past several months she and Miller have created a massive tree made out of papier-mâché, chicken wire and various salvaged pieces. The end result is impressive, and very realistic. It is made even more special by the holiday decorations, such as snowflakes, that adorn the branches. There is even a small swing that is decked out with holiday ribbons.

“It’s a lot of work to decorate the tree,” said Nivens, who plans on changing the decorations to match the seasons.

Nivens credits Miller with making the vision of a tree turn into reality.

“She saw it in her head, and I saw it too, but her talents really made it happen,” she said.

This will be the first time that Gail’s Columbiana Florist, located at 100 S. Main Street, has been on the Christmas Tour of Homes. The tour is sponsored by the Columbiana Beautification Board, with proceeds going toward the numerous projects the board does to keep Columbiana looking good.

The tour begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 at Busy Hands, located at 202 N. Main Street, or at Main Street Florist, located at 114 N. Main Street. Tickets can also be purchased for $20 at any of the homes or businesses on the tour. Each ticket contains a map of the tour locations.

First Baptist Church of Columbiana located at 208 N. Main Street will also be on the tour, along with Horsefeathers Farm in Columbiana, owned by Don and Candye Lundy and located at 3663 Hwy 77.

The following Columbiana residences will also be featured: 411 N. Main Street, owned by Joel and Amy Dixon; 589 Crumpton Cemetery Road, owned by James and Trecia Denney.

Just a short drive from Columbiana, the home of Terry and Anita Davis will be featured, located at 1101 Paradise Cove Lane.

As it has been in the past two years of the tour, the Columbiana Trolley will be available to shuttle people along Main Street as they visit the Dixon home, the Baptist Church and Gail’s Columbiana Florist.

Parking for the shuttle will be at the Baptist church.

Miss Shelby County Chassidy Sumler will be at Horsefeathers Farm and Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen Blakely Channell will be at the home of James and Trecia Denney to welcome visitors.

And don’t forget to stop by the Shelby County Arts Council located at 104 Mildred Street to enjoy the annual Artist Market which is free and will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The artist market is a great way to get all your holiday shopping done while supporting talented local artists.

Other holiday events in Columbiana include the annual Christmas Parade on Main Street on Dec. 1. Christmas carols begin at 5:30 p.m., with Dream Makers dancers performing at 6:15 p.m. The parade begins at 7 p.m. This year’s grand marshals are Oliver and Ann Head.