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The annual History of the Christmas Tree Walk is continuing on for the 19th year.
The walk, which opened Dec. 1, features more than 200 Christmas trees on display inside a 9,500 square-foot log home in Algonac. It is open Thursdays through Sundays in December, excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
“We are excited that the Kodet family is carrying on the tradition in memory of Al and Diane and their love for everything Christmas,” said Laura Irwin, who is in charge of marketing, ticket sales and customer service for the walk. “Last year, Diane Kodet, the surviving owner and founder of the Christmas Tree Walk, was deathly ill throughout nearly the entire month of December and passed away on Jan. 3, 2022. Their oldest son, Keith, also passed away in January 2022. Al passed away in September of 2019. Despite Diane being ill and unable to participate, the 2021 Christmas Walk saw over 2,000 visitors and we hope to see as many, if not more, this year.”
Irwin said this year sees a few changes in how the walk is operated. All ticket orders are online only.
“We have had a few seniors calling in their order as they do not have access to the internet, which is something we are happy to help them with,” she said.
She said all visitors will drive to the log home with the address provided upon ticket purchase, and a parking attendant will be onsite to assist guests. She noted that the shuttle bus system was eliminated a couple of years ago due to COVID-19 and the cost to insure the buses quadrupling.
Irwin said that there are two time slots for tours: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“It is a self-guided tour through all three levels of the custom log home,” Irwin said. “Staff is available throughout the home to answer questions and offer assistance. We have found that most guests spend about an hour touring the home, but we offer a two-hour window so no one feels rushed and to allow for inclement weather. If they arrive before their tour time, we ask that they wait in their vehicle until the door attendant indicates it is OK to come in.”
The log home is a private residence that has three levels that are accessible by log stairs and is not handicap accessible, thechristmaswalk.com states. People who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs will only be able to access the central level of the home and will need to navigate around the indoor pool to enter the home. No walkers or strollers will be allowed in the house. It is a smoke-free home and no outside food or beverages will be allowed.
Visitors to the walk will be asked to cover their shoes with plastic shoe protectors that will be provided at the door to the home. Alternatively, shoes or boots can be removed upon entering, if desired. Children are welcome, must remain with their parents at all times and cannot be allowed to handle objects in the home or on the trees. Pets are not allowed. Cameras are welcome.
In December of 2004, the first History of the Christmas Tree Walk began when the Kodets opened their home to the public to view over 30 decorated Christmas trees, each decorated with a different theme or from a different period in history, the website states. The ornaments, decorations and other holiday displays offered visitors to the home an insight into Christmas history from the 1850s until the present.
The first year, there were more than 800 visitors. In 2019, there were over 4,500 visitors, the highest number to date.
“Everyone who visits the Christmas Walk is awed and amazed, not only by all the gorgeous decorations, the immense size and beauty of the home but also by the love, time and commitment put in by Al and Diane over their decades of collecting and displaying the Christmas décor,” Irwin said.
The cost for tickets is $25 for adults and $20 for children, plus a service fee. All tickets must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance and are non-refundable, but can be transfered upon availability to a different date and time. Those interested can add a meal at Foxfire Fixin’s in Marine City for an additional cost. History of the Christmas Tree Walk souvenir booklets and commemorative ornaments are also available to purchase with a ticket order.
For more information, visit thechristmaswalk.com.
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