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House Tour to aid Chassell projects

December 6, 2012
By SCOTT VIAU - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

CHASSELL - As part of the Chassell's Old Fashioned Christmas, a house tour and gourmet tasting will be taking place Saturday, where homeowners will open their homes up to the public to look at decorations both inside and out.

Nancy Leonard, president of the Chassell Improvement Association, said the house tour is one of the major fundraisers for the CIA, which aims to raise money for things that would make life a little better, according to Leonard.

The homes on the tour are either located directly in Chassell or toward Houghton a bit.

"Participants will have an easy time getting from one to another," Leonard said.

Leonard said the tour is one of her favorite parts of the Old Fashioned Christmas activities.

"I love the house tour. I just love it," Leonard said. "It's a busy time of year for everyone and (the homeowners are) gracious enough to open their homes. People love it. ... Anybody who's ever opened their home for the house tour says afterward how much fun it was."

Leonard added one of the differences that sets the Chassell house tour apart from others is the wide range of houses on the tour, from small to large. Another difference is the donated food from local establishments available at each house.

"We have not only a home tour but a gourmet tasting, as well," Leonard said.

Mary Lou Kotajarvi is one of the people who opened up her home to the public. Kotajarvi said she decided to participate because it's going to be fun and she believes it's for a good cause. She said it also gives her an excuse to do some cleaning.

"It's good house cleaning," she said. "I'm kind of in the balance between overdecorating and underdecorating."

Among the decorations that will be featured at her home is her Christmas tree, which Kotajarvi feels is the centerpiece of the presentation. She will also be displaying a nativity scene and floral arrangements.

Kotajarvi will only be displaying the main level of her house, with the upstairs and the basement not part of the tour.

"It's going to be fun," Kotajarvi said. "Now that we're almost done (decorating) the panic is over. You make your list and worry about it, but once you get all that organized, it's good. The only thing I'm sorry about is that I won't be able to see the other activities going on."

Tickets for the tour cost $10 and are available at Einerlei in Chassell, the Chassell Heritage Center and the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau in Calumet. The tour runs from noon until 5 p.m. Saturday.



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