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Holiday House Tour Promises to Amaze

If you've never been on a Westport Historical Society Holiday House Tour , there's no time like the present. Now in its 24th year, the annual tour typically attracts 500 to 600 people, said Dorothy Curran, president of the historical society.

"This is a big deal," said Dorothy, who is also the chairwoman of the Holiday House Tour committee. "People literally come from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and all over the state. It's an annual event where people meet up with friends, tour houses, maybe break for lunch, and finish the day with the soiree."

This year's tour features five handpicked homes that represent a wide range of architectural styles, including a Greek revival turned Italianate, a Queen Ann revival, a Compo Beach cottage, a colonial revival and a renovation-turned-new-construction that features a three-story kitchen.

In addition to style, the homes range in age, with building dates from 1840 to 2009, Dorothy said.

"The tour is not limited to just antique homes," she said. "We look for a variety of styles people in Westport are interested in."

This process of selecting homes, she said, is extensive and sometimes happens over several years.

"We're always looking for houses, and we receive nominations throughout the year," Dorothy said. "Of course, we have to rely on generosity of the homeowners: We can't do this without them."

The houses open Sunday at 11 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. Ticketholders can start whenever they want and visit the homes in any order because it is a self-guided tour. Tickets, which can be purchased online , are $40 for members, $50 for non-members and $55 on Sunday.

The Twilight Soiree, which will be held at a private residence from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., follows the tour. Wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction will be featured. Tickets for this event are separate and cost $50.

Visit the WHS website for more information on the tour and soiree.

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