Angela Swartz/Daily Journal
Filoli volunteer Linda White helps put up the garland decorations in the visitors center.
More than 100 volunteers decorated giant garland prototypes yesterday in the Filoli visitors center, one of the initial steps leading into Holiday Traditions, Filoli’s largest fundraiser of the year.
Filoli in Woodside, the historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century, begins its holiday festivities Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving. Its holiday events run for nine days. The opening night premier shopping event includes live music, wine and appetizers.
“It’s absolutely beautiful and magical,” said event co-chair Jackie Hasenstab, who also does floral design for the visitors center.
The first floor of the house, along with the visitors center, are transformed for the holidays by more than 700 volunteers with decorations, festive music and a holiday boutique. Decorations themselves go on sale, along with ornaments and custom wreathes. Each room has a unique theme, including the dining room, which looks like a farmers’ market. Preparation begins on Jan. 1 of each year and work on decorations and other planning starts in August.
Six or seven entertainment groups perform daily, including school choirs.
“There are more local schools that want to perform than we can accommodate,” said Filoli spokeswoman Christina Syrett, Filoli’s media and public relations associate. “It’s an immense team effort.”
Buffet lunches and evening bistro dining are available at select times during the holiday celebrations with advance reservations. There will also be a children’s luncheon party on Saturday, Dec. 7. It is designed especially for children 5 to 10 years old and includes food, a visit with Santa and children’s entertainment.
Filoli’s 654-acre property includes a 36,000-square-foot residence furnished with an extensive collection of 17th and 18th century English antiques and 16 acres of English Renaissance gardens. Established as a private residence in 1917, it was opened to the public in 1976 to promote cultural and horticultural endeavors.
Non-members may purchase tickets by mail, at filoli.org or by calling 364-8300, ext. 508. The order form can be faxed to 503-2090 or mailed to: Attn: Holiday Traditions at Filoli, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA 94062. Ticket prices vary by event, but non-member prices range from $30 to $85 and $25 to $75 for members.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105