PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

Annual Holiday Home Tour to be held Saturday

Posted 12/11/19

Curious how other people deck their halls during the Christmas season?

This year, the Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 14 features eight local homes, including the first Royalton home in the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Annual Holiday Home Tour to be held Saturday


Curious how other people deck their halls during the Christmas season?

This year, the Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 14 features eight local homes, including the first Royalton home in the tour’s 17-year history.

“We’ve been trying to get Royalton involved in this for a while,” said Carole Shanaman, who is the tour coordinator and planning committee chairwoman.

The exact locations of the homes will be provided on the day of the tour, which lasts from 1 to 8 p.m.

Two of the tour homes are in Lower Swatara and five in Middletown. There are also three public places — the Presbyterian Congregation of Middletown, St. Peter’s Kierch and the Middletown Area Historical Society.

Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at the Press & Journal until Dec. 13.

Tickets can also be purchased at The Event Place, which is the tour’s hospitality center, on the day of the tour from noon to 6:30 p.m. After you get a ticket, take it to The Event Place where you will be given a tour map.

This year, the tour is in memory of long time holiday home tour planning committee member JoAnn Shipkowski, who passed away in August.

It’s been hard to plan the tour without her help, Shanaman said. She called Shipkowski an “asset to the community.”

Shanaman estimated that Shipkowski volunteered with the home tour for about 14 years. But Shipkowski did so much more. Her obituary notes that she volunteered at her church Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where she also sang in the choir.

Shipkowski was also the coordinator of the Middletown Area Interfaith Council Food Pantry, helped kids with their homework at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and served in a variety of roles with the Middletown Area High School Alumni Association. She graduated, taught, and coached track and swimming at MAHS.

“We really miss her. Not just because she was an asset to our committee, she was also a very good friend to all of us,” Shanaman said.

What’s on the tour

The first Royalton home on the tour is the residence of Christopher and Angela Long on Dock Street.

Christopher grew up in the left side of their home. When he and Angela got married and were looking to buy a house, they decided to tear down the inside of the home and make one larger house.

One day, the Longs came home to a packet at their front door asking if they wanted to be part of the tour.

To prepare, Christopher and Angela have bought more decorations and sought advice from family members.

Their Christmas tree is America-themed with red, white and blue lights and American flags.

Their son, Trevor Fuller, is a corporal in the Marine Corps. When they visited him, the Longs picked up some Marine-themed ornaments such as a Marine carrying a flag and a combat helmet.

“I’m excited for people to see the transformation of the house, what it used to be, and share our collections that we have and some of his mom’s history of the home. I’m excited to see the community and the people come in,” Angela said.

Details from the tour

Shanaman said the tickets are only needed to get into the homes, but not the historical society and churches.

She said the committee starts to look for houses to be on next year’s tour after that year’s tour is done, looking for houses decorated nicely outside.

Typically, if the outside is decorated, then the inside is decorated too, Shanaman said.

The committee tries to get as many historic homes on the tour as possible, but Shanaman said it’s not a priority.

Only one home is not historic on this year’s tour — a Lower Swatara home in the Old Reliance Farms housing development, Shanaman said.

There are still tickets available for “A Dickens’ Holiday Tea,” which will take place from noon to 2 p.m. on the second floor of The Event Place.

Tea tickets cost $25 and combination tea and tour tickets cost $35. To reserve your seat, call Shanaman at 717-930-0931 or email her at

Shanaman said they would like to have payments prior to Dec. 14.

Raffle for RaiderPack

There will also be a holiday basket raffle with items donated from Middletown merchants. The proceeds from the raffle will go toward the RaiderPack program, which is a partnership between the Middletown Area School District, the Middletown Area Blue Raider Foundation and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

As part of the RaiderPack program, students are given a bag of food containing food for breakfast, lunch and a snack.

Last year, the proceeds also went to the RaiderPack Program.

“We feel that it’s a valuable service that the school is providing for needy families in our town. We feel that it’s one of the most important things to do is feed the children,” Shanaman said.

The tour is raffling 12 baskets, which will be on display during the tour at The Event Place. The baskets include a range of products like a MeltSpa gift certificate, custom-made ornaments and artisan goat cheese.

The baskets range in value from $60 to $200. Tickets cost $5 each or 5 for $20.

For more information, visit