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Tuesday, December 2, 2014
The Col. William Bond House will be all dressed up for Christmas for Thursday's "A Winter's Fest Eve." (CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)


Randy Andropolis, right, performs with his students Peter Heuer and 
Katie Silvestri at last year’s Bond House “Winter’s Fest Eve.” 
The public is invited to experience the holiday spirit with the History Center of Niagara with “A Winter’s Fest Eve,” celebration, featuring music by Randy Andropolis and Friends.

The annual event will begin the season’s celebration from 6 - 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Col. William Bond/Jesse Hawley House.

Randy Andropolis and Friends will return with what's promised to be "a delightful blend of Christmas music and carols." This is Andropolis’ final year entertaining at the event after 25 consecutive years. He plays piano, guitar, mandolin and harp. His group’s musical style and vocal accompaniment enhance an intimate and elegant holiday gathering in a c.1824 home.

The years have brought changes to Randy’s musical ensemble and career. He began entertaining at the Winter's Fest Eve event with his wife and daughters, who shared vocals and instrumentals. At that time, he served as executive director of the Community Music School of Niagara County. Today he is a professor of Music History at Niagara University and a private instructor, and he performs with friends and students.

The National Register-listed, 12-room, Federal-style home/museum will be fully decorated for the season by dedicated and talented co-curators Becky and Gloria Pittler.

Visit and enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of Christmas in an early Canal-era family home, as featured in the national magazine Early American Life in 2012.

Guests can partake of holiday cookies and hot mulled cider as they enjoy friendly company and the festive music and setting. Kids will find children's activities in the library while grown-ups tour the rest of the house.

All tours and events are open to the public, and families with children age 8 and up are encouraged to attend.

This year the holiday decor will also include tablescapes, unique place and table settings, for raffle to benefit the house. Purchase tickets at the Bond House for $5 each or 3 for $12, then choose your favorite tablescapes and enter a separate drawing for each one you’d like to win. Drawings will be held in December after the house closes for the season.

All tablescapes were created and donated by volunteers Becky and Gloria Pittler. Tablescapes include varied combinations of dishes, cups, glassware, linens, candleholders, table decorations and centerpieces. Some of the tablescapes feature vintage tableware.

The Bond-Hawley House will also be open from 1-4 p.m. on three Saturdays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20.

Donations are accepted. They can also offer tours for groups of eight or more by reservation. Call 434-7433 to arrange a group tour by appointment for a small admission fee.

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