In the meantime, life goes on. And in Marietta, that means it is time for the 27th Annual Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour, a joint effort of the Marietta Convention Bureau and the Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society.
The activities begin this Friday evening, Dec. 6, with the “Marietta Pilgrimage Gala,” a black-tie party at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art.
The tours start on Saturday and will feature six private historic homes in the Northwest Marietta/Kennesaw Avenue Historic District, which have been carefully restored, filled with antique collections and decorated for the season.
The Saturday day tour will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a candlelight tour featuring three of the tour homes will take place from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday evening. The day tour will resume on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Shuttle buses will be available for the estimated 5,000 people expected to attend.
Let me pause at this point to make an observation about the Marietta Visitors Bureau. I was not impressed with either the organization’s past public relations efforts, which included their inability to locate my name on their Rolodex, or the ham-handed way its board seemed to have gone about selecting a new executive director after the retirement of longtime head, Theresa Jenkins.
With Katie Peterson on board as the new director, I sense things have changed a bit. I received more calls from her in her first week on the job than I had from the organization in all the previous years I have been churning out opinions in the MDJ. It was one call, but that was one more than I had ever gotten before. Since then, she has made a concerted effort to stay in touch about the doings of the MVB. See? That wasn’t hard.
I asked Peterson about her plans for the bureau going forward. She said that one of her first goals will be to raise the awareness of Marietta’s many attractions by building a strong online presence.
“With the events surrounding the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and the announcement of the Atlanta Braves move to Cobb County,” Peterson says, “We will receive more attention from across the state and nation. Working with Cobb Travel & Tourism and the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division, we will be able to bring record numbers of visitors to Marietta.” That means more visitors and more dollars in the local economy.
The MVB has some 50 volunteers who give their time to various events during the year, not including the Christmas Home Tour and the Taste of Marietta in the spring. The Christmas Home Tour alone will be staffed by 500 volunteers.
With all that is happening these days, the organization will likely need more volunteers in the future. Peterson says, “We encourage people to share their energy, passion and Marietta knowledge with visitors.”
Meanwhile, as a part of the festivities, the Marietta Square, one of my very favorite places — if I don’t qualify for heaven or Athens, Georgia, I will gladly take the Square as an alternate — will be covered with thousands of lights and Santa will light the Christmas tree in the Square next Thursday.
On Friday there will be “Candlelight Shopping on the Square” with special trolley rides and carolers. The Square is a good place to be anytime but next weekend should be a corker.
As for Jack and Jill, I thought it best not to invite them to the Christmas Home Tour festivities this coming week. Jack won’t be a happy camper after seeing his name in the paper this week and I don’t think the gracious folks who have opened their homes to us would want an angry mule stomping around their antiques. I know I wouldn’t and the only antique in my house is my Social Security card.
If you haven’t yet purchased tickets for the Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour, call the Marietta Visitors Bureau at (770) 429-1115, or (800) 835-0445 or visit www.mariettta pilgrimage.com. It should be a great event and a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit after a contentious couple of weeks in Cobb County.
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.