This year's theme is 'A Northern Lights Christmas Gala.'
You don't have to go up north to see the northern lights. This year, The Casements is bringing them to Ormond Beach.
The 41st Christmas Gala at John D. Rockefeller's former home will deck the halls with shades of blue, white and silver to emulate the northern lights. The Gala starts with a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and will run through Sunday, Dec. 8. Featuring appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, music, the annual tree gallery and other Christmas activities, the Gala is held annually in memory of the Christmas parties thrown by Rockefeller for the neighbors. Rockefeller started the tradition in 1920.
Gala Chairman Jayde Lyle said new special lighting will reflect the event's theme outside as well as other lighting around the indoor Christmas tree that will shine up to the house's third floor. Themes are selected a year in advance, and there have been no repeats since the Guild started hosting the Gala again in 1979 after the city purchased The Casements.
“Each year, there was a different theme — 41 years," Lyle said. Past themes are displayed around the dining room.
On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Guild members and city employees at The Casements flitted about the house getting everything ready. They hung up lights, organized decorations and got started on piecing together the big Christmas tree at Rockefeller Gardens.
Without these "worker bees," Gala co-chair Janie Pennington said the Guild couldn't host the event. Around 40-45 people have helped make the Gala possible.
Everyone's hard work will be worth the effort though when the doors open to the public Friday evening, she added. It's exciting to see the people come into the house.
“it’s really near and dear to everyone’s heart, and we want each year to be a little bit better," Pennington said.
This year, the Guild has a new Polar Bear Tea event for children in addition to the annual Holiday Tea events part of the Gala, all of which are already sold out. For more information on the Gala, visit TheCasements.net