By Maranda FlynnDecember 13, 2013
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas along Brown Parade Field, as Families place the final ornaments on their trees and hang the last of their wreaths on the windows in preparation for the 21st Annual Historical Tour of Homes on Sunday, 1 -- 5 p.m.
The public is invited to tour the officers' quarters that date back to 1879, giving them an opportunity to view the main floors of 11 different homes.
This annual event, sponsored by the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses Club, or FHCSC, is one of the club's largest events that supports FHCSC scholarships provided to military high school graduates and spouses continuing their education.
"All the homes will be decorated with everything from vintage to modern holiday decorations," said Sasha Griffin, FHCSC president. "[Tourists] will be able to see historic Fort Huachuca decorated up."
For the second time while living at Fort Huachuca, Col. Kris Kramarich, Network Enterprise Technology Command chief of staff, will be opening her home, the Carr House, on Sunday.
"For me personally, being able to share the historic home with the community and those that come makes it a special kick-off to the holiday season," Kramarich said. "People are just smiling as they walk through and are just so appreciative."
Each resident places his or her own personal touch throughout the historic homes, especially during the holidays. As a part of her décor, Kramarich has placed approximately 30 individual boots collected from Army friends during her military career.
"I spray paint them gold, and leave the dirt in, so that it is sealed in," she explained. "I only keep one, and I give one back to them [the original donors]. So then they have it all decorated for their Family too."
A friendly competition has formed among the participating Families on Grierson Avenue. "There is a little bit of house envy going on, meaning somebody will walk in and go 'Oh no, I have to go back and do something more to mine!'" Kramarich jokingly explained.
Along with the seasonal decorations, this year's tour will include musicians, carolers and re-enactors. Food and beverages will be available near the gazebo and at the start of the tour.
"I really look forward to it," Kramarich stated. "And because we are supporting this effort, we are done [decorating] in time -- way before Christmas -- just because of this event."
One of the houses that will be decorated, but is not currently lived in, is the Carleton House. This is the oldest building still standing on Fort Huachuca and once served as the post hospital and morgue.
Tickets are $12, available the day of the event and can be purchased at the start of the tour near the Fort Huachuca Museum and at the gazebo on the south end of Brown Parade Field.
Remember, no still or video photography is permitted inside the homes. Also, no children under 10 are permitted on the tour, and participants should not bring backpacks or strollers.
The tour will take place rain or shine.
For more information, go to www.fthuachucaspouses.com or email FHCSC.firstname.lastname@example.org.