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Home for the Holidays and Yule Walk

December 3, 2010
Twist and Shout
The Fort Dodge Area Symphony will hold their Winter concert on Sunday, December 5th at 3 pm at Phillips Middle School. This will be followed by their annual ‘Christmas’ Yule Walk, from 5 to 7 pm. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults, and $6 for students. Season memberships are also available, and will be used for admission.

Symphony board member Ardella Hein promised that this concert will be delightful.

Featuring piano soloist Eddie Nieman returns for a stirring performance of Beethoven’s’ Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor. The orchestra will serve up a selection of tunes to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Songs include ‘I’ll be Home For Christmas” and Andersons “Sleigh Ride”. The program will close with the traditional sing-a-long on the Halleluiah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

At the age of 15, Eddie Neimann’s family relocated to Fort Dodge. When in high school Eddie won first place in both the Iowa Music Teachers Association and Music Teachers National Association for the state of Iowa. He then performed with the Kansas City, Sioux City and Fort Dodge Symphonies. He won the Terrace Hill Governor’s Piano Competition and was accepted into the Performer’s Program at Texas Christian University/Van Cliburn International Piano Institute, 1997. After attending the University of Northern Iowa, he was a graduate assistant at the University of Florida.

The Yule Walk

Following the Concert is the annual ‘Yule Walk’ Tour of Homes; with four homes on the tour, all within a few miles of each other, in the vicinity of the Community Apple Orchard. Board member Ardella Hein explained that the first ‘Yule” walk was held in 1993; “It was suggested by our conductor at the time, who had seen this done in Dubuque as a great fundraiser.”

Hein added, “We are all very grateful to the people who lend us their homes for the afternoon, and all fully decorated for Christmas!” She said people should go to the Community Orchard prior to the walk, to get a map of all the houses.

All the homes will feature their own personal holiday décor and truly put anyone attending in the Holiday spirit; along with give great ideas for anyone that’s looking!

The homes include Tim and Sally Kraayenbrink at 1561 National Avenue; Lincoln and Kelli Wallace at 2226 Dawson Drive; Dr. Kyle and Phillis Versteeg at 2103 140th Street and Martin and Sheryl Rogers at 1625 Orchard Road. The Community Orchard will also be open and decorated in true Holiday spirit, with hot cider, hot chocolate, cookies and bars. “We will have the gift shop and the downstairs open throughout the walk,” promised Bev Baedke.

The Kraayenbrink Home

For the Kraayenbrinks’, their Christmas centers around church and family. Sally shared that their nativity scene is the focus and “certainly depicts the true meaning of Christmas. A special stable was hand made by my great-uncle over 30 years ago, he used wood and moss he gathered in Oregon,” said Sally. There will be a large tree in the family room, decorated with white lights, which holds a variety of ornaments, “from school-made gifts from our children, treasured ornaments from grandparents, ornaments from family trips that bring back special memories.”

Sally also has a collection of cottages from the Dickens’ Village Series, which can be found throughout the house. “This keepsake collection was given to us one piece at a time over several Christmases by treasured friends.”

The Kraayenbrinks plan to decorate in a traditional style, in shades of ivory, champagne and sage, “with touches of red, silver and gold.” She will have lots of poinsettias, and the dining room table will be set for an elegant Christmas meal.”

The Rogers Home

Sheryl Rogers said folks will find a mixture of ‘old world’ and ‘new world’ in their brick home that is set among many trees. The color scheme is primarily different tones of beiges and browns, with a splash of color in each room. She said the family room and dining room have 24 foot ceilings with an open staircase and walkway. “We will have seven Christmas trees, from large to small, decorated in various spots around our home,” said Sheryl. “They will be decorated with a lot of glitz and glamour.” She added that the tree in the living room circulates, and will have all white lights.

The VerSteeg Home

The Dr. Kyle and Phyllis VerSteeg home is influenced by the Prairie Style architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, with a low profile, wide overhangs reaching out to the landscape and a central massive stone fireplace that anchors the floor plan. The home is located just off Highway 169 adjacent to the Clare blacktop.

As you enter the piano bar, you will enjoy the music of Christmas played by Linda Bensen of Gowrie. The main great room will have an inviting 12 foot tall tree decorated Dr. VerSteeg style. On the lower level you will enjoy a wild west style Christmas.

Their decorations have been kept simple. The nature from the outside of their home has been brought in to complete the Frank Lloyd Wright style Christmas. Kim Rolfes of Kim’s Design helped the VerSteegs’ with the decorating.

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