(left), the son of J.D. and Sarah Ettore, plays Christmas music with retired choral music teacher Pat Harry as Harry's husband, Steve, listens during the Moonlight and Mistletoe event Friday evening at Bill and Liz Meyer's home.(Jason E. Silvers/Tribune)
Activities this past weekend that were part of the Historic Preservation Association of Bourbon County's biggest fundraiser of the year included tours of homes decorated for Christmas, shopping, music, crafts and food.
Event co-chairwoman Ethel Smith said the Moonlight and Mistletoe tour Friday evening at the home of Bill and Liz Meyer drew about 50 people and weekend viewings of four other homes attracted about 450.
"This was one of the busiest ones I've seen," she said. "It was steady all day Saturday. Sunday wasn't quite as busy."
Organizers said fundraising numbers were not available as they are still tallying figures and not all money has come in.
"There are no money figures yet," HPA President Don Miller said. "The bake sale went extremely well. The initial figure was really good. Overall, traffic was steady. It was better than I originally thought it would be."
Smith said she thought this year's fundraiser was "better than last year."
"We've had over 1,500 donations to the HPA," she said. "We sent out a letter asking for donations and were totally amazed at the generosity, especially with the economic trend. This year has been great. The whole weekend was really good."
Bill Meyer said he and his wife's home was last on the homes tour in 1986, but this is the first time they have hosted Moonlight and Mistletoe, which offers a tour of the home, a light buffet and beverages and socializing.
"I think everybody had a good time," he said.
Asked why they chose to host the event, Meyer said it's a "community service; that's why we do it. It's a nice event ... We were asked and said, 'Sure.'"
Miller said turnout, especially from out-of-town visitors, was good the whole weekend.
"We could have used more folks from the town here," he said. "It was well done and a quality evening, that's for sure."
Miller said all of the items included in the bake sale at the Fort Scott Middle School -- part of the Stocking Stuffer -- were donated and everything sold.
Vendors Miller spoke to over the weekend reported good sales.
"It seemed to be a buying crowd," he said.
A vendor himself, Miller said his sales "were the best they've been in seven or eight years."
The HPA collects proceeds from the bake sale and barbecue, rental fees from crafters who rent booths and the sale of tickets for the homes tours, but it also has expenses to pay.
"It was a great team effort," Miller said, adding the event would not have been possible without people working behind the scenes, including Smith and co-chairwoman Robin Kirch who are a "perfect pair to work together," the homeowners who open their homes for the tours and several others volunteers.
"The vendors I talked to were quite pleased and want to come back," Miller said.
Homes featured on this year's tours included the homes of Jared and Alisha Martin, 1230 S. Judson St., Jared Leek, 604 Tiffany Lane, Jake and Dawn Anderson, 1722 S. Horton, and John and Cindy Bartelsmeyer, 1121 207th St.