Niagara Gazette

December 5, 2013

Step inside during Lewiston's Tour of Homes

By Michele Deluca
Niagara Gazette

Having trouble getting into the holiday spirit? The cure may be to immerse yourself in twinkling lights, ribbons, poinsettias and all the other symbols of the season.

For those who like their holiday cheer in bulk, Lewiston is the place to be this weekend, where the holiday Tour of Homes will offer the best work of area designers inside some of the villages most charming homes. Meantime, the Lewiston Christmas Walk will bring Center Street alive with music, Santa and more. 

”Christmas Cottages in the County” is the theme of this year’s 9th annual event to benefit the Historical Association of Lewiston.

Five cottages and a main house have been decorated for the season by local designers. Visitors are invited to walk through each location and get ideas for their own holiday stylings.

At the main house overlooking the Niagara Gorge,  Lockport designers Julie Muscato of Muscato Interiors and John Pallister of Pallister House Florists are opting for a Mother Nature-inspired holiday palette, and have decked the 6-bedroom Colonial with naturally grown decor.

”We added some nature right from the property,” said Moscato, who pointed out some berries and twigs that embellished some of the arrangements and noted that the house will be filled with fresh flowers for the tour.

”You’re going to get a really nice flavor of an old traditional Christmas,”  Moscato added.  

Over at “The Clerk’s Cottage,” decorator Lisa Rizzo, who recently opened Divine Designs, and her sister Lori Presti, put the finishing touches on the cozy home owned by village clerk Anne Welch and her husband, Bob.

The sisters, who say they got their decorating skills from their mom, Janelle Montazzoli of the Jenss department store family, had fun embellishing Anne’s annual holiday decor, such as layering the mantel of the master bedroom fireplace with a massive strand of flowers, evergreens and ribbon.

“Anne and Bob Welch are good friends, therefore I was determined to design a spectacular Christmas wonderland throughout their home,” said Rizzo, whose design advice includes creating one focal element in each room.  Under the sisters’ guidance, the tiny home bursts with holiday cheer from the holiday pillows on the front porch wicker to the brandy and cigar bar in the dining room. 

Anne, who has helped with the fundraiser over the years, figured it was time to open her home for the event. Her husband, a board member for the historial society, agreed. “It’s our giveback to the village,” Bob said.

The event provides 40 percent of the historical society’s annual budget.  Tickets are $25 and until Friday can be purchased at a variety of locations in the village, as well as all area Wegmans and online at On Saturday and Sunday tickets can be purchased only at the Village Hall, 145 N. 4th St. Guests can travel to the homes on the Great Lakes Real Estate Polar Express bus which starts at the village hall, but bus waits are likely. Afterwards, guests are invited to the Barton Hill Hotel for a free holiday champagne cocktail and dessert sampling.  

The Lewiston Christmas Walk will also take place Saturday and Sunday, with complimentary carriage rides, shopping, music, refreshments, and a helicopter landing by Santa Claus at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, sponsored by village business. Both events are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.



WHAT: Tour of Homes, a holiday open house showcasing decorating ideas to raise money for the Historical Society of Lewiston

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

WHERE: Lewiston

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Tickets are $25 and are available at the ticket outlets including all Wegmans stores until 4 pm Friday. On Saturday and Sunday tickets will only be available at Lewiston Village Hall, 145 North Fourth St.  For more information and other ticket outlets visit