Körner’s Folly prepares for Christmas
Körner’s Folly’s Christmas by Candlelight Tours will light up the night on Dec. 7 and 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. in Kernersville. Suzanna Ritz, operations and programs manager, said it feels “otherworldly” when visitors get to experience the Victorian-era house museum with Victorian-inspired Christmas decorations after dark. Candlelight Tours and on-site ticket sales begin promptly at 5 p.m. in Aunt Dealy’s House, and holiday tours last about one hour, followed by hot cider and Moravian cookies on the South Porch.
“We work with local actors and musicians to provide entertainment and give visitors a feast for the eyes,” she said.
The Candlelight Tours began in 2012, and 500 to 600 visitors have attended annually. Once inside, Ritz said that all the tours are self-guided so that visitors can take their time with family and friends. She said that they have a tour route and storyboard, so people don’t miss anything, but they don’t have to follow it.
Ritz said this year’s theme is a Gilded Christmas, and while it may mean gold, sparkle and shine to some, others have interpreted the decorating with the wonder of the Gilded Age. Ritz said it takes a lot of volunteers to decorate. She said some of those volunteers are the Körner relatives/descendants, and others just love getting into the Christmas Spirit. She said helping put this together is their way of giving back. This year’s volunteers include The Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden team (who will be decorating the foyer), the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network, Kernersville Kiwanis Club and others. Ritz said that visitors get to vote for their favorite room and the winner gets “bragging rights and are asked to bring their A-game to the next year’s competition.”
Ritz said they have three different floors, seven different levels, and she said that some rooms are very small and open up to extremely large spaces. Ritz cautions visitors to be careful on two large staircases and over 100 steps, and while everyone is welcome, even the first floor isn’t wheelchair accessible. Ritz said that those assisted by a walker generally do well on the first floor, and those with a cane can manage the tour if they take their time.
Ritz said that the daytime self-guided holiday tours last approximately one hour, and the house would be fully decorated from Nov. 29 through Jan. 4, 2020. The last tickets will be sold at 4 p.m. each day to allow adequate time to tour the house. Amateur photography is allowed, but Ritz said to call ahead for professional photography appointments.
The annual Christmas puppet show, “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas at Körner’s Folly,” usually sells out and tickets can be purchased online. Ritz said this show, based on Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem, has “a Körner twist” and is followed by a visit from Santa in the Reception Room. Children will tell him their wish, receive a candy cane, and have photos taken with Santa in front of the 12-foot Christmas tree.
A Kernersville Yuletide is a three-part community celebration on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ritz invites visitors to explore the elaborately decorated Jule Gilmer Körner house that dates back to 1800 before venturing on to the Botanical Gardens, where visitors may find inspiration for their own holiday decorating. Then, on to local history explorations at the Kernersville Museum where attendees may complete a magical evening at the museum’s outdoor ice-skating rink.
Ritz said Körner’s Folly gift shop is open during public hours and by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays. She said they have lots of Victorian-inspired and hard-to-find ornaments, gifts and old-fashioned, German-inspired ornaments for the holiday season along with toys and gifts for the kids.
TERRY RADER is a freelance writer/editorial/content/copy, creative consultant/branding strategist, communications outreach messenger, poet, and emerging singer/songwriter.
Nov. 29 until Jan.4, 2020, open from Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for the Daytime Holiday Tours. Dec. 14, from 10 a.m-3 p.m. is A Kernersville Yuletide: (tickets regular tour admission). Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 from 6-9 p.m., Sat., Dec. 7 at 10 a.m.: Christmas Puppet Show ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas ($5 ages 2 and up, purchase tickets online ONLY for puppet show). On Dec. 7 and 21 and from 5-9 p.m. is the Christmas by Candlelight Tours. Regular tour admission tickets: Adults ($10+tax), Children Ages 6-18 ($6+tax), under 6 (free) may be purchased online or onsite. Christmas by Candlelight tickets ($15+tax) for Adults, ($6+tax) for Children (Ages 6-18), under 6 Free. Tickets for ice-skating: www.kernersvillemuseum.org/ice-skating-rink-info. Körner’s Folly, 413 S. Main St. in Kernersville, NC, (336) 996-7922, www.kornersfolly.org. Holiday closings: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Jan. 5, 2020.