Fairfield Museum Rings in Season with Open House

Hannah Phillips (left) and Frankie O’Neal share a little punch at last year’s open house spectacular.

When the Christmas holiday season starts in Fairfield County, things start happening — the Town of Winnsboro lights a Christmas tree in Gazebo Park following the Christmas Parade, the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce begins promoting Shop Fairfield First and the Fairfield County Museum opens its doors for the Holiday Open House.

During this annual event, the public tours the Museum, enjoys sumptuous holiday refreshments and listens to the sweet sounds of the season. The Museum is decorated to the nines with fresh greenery by several discerning women from the local gardening clubs. It’s a glory to behold.

This year’s Holiday Open House will be held Sunday, Dec. 8 from 4-7 p.m. When the Town of Winnsboro Christmas parade ends, turn your steps toward the Fairfield County Museum to hear music provided by the Johnson Family String Quartet, the distinctive sounds of Christmas music on bagpipes, provided by our community’s own “proper piper” Brian Ogburn and the lilting vocal talents of Kerry Matthews, accompanied ably by Lauren Livings on piano.

This musical feast continues as you will also hear a trumpet duet by Hal Frish and grandson Aaron and the Halfway There Quartet, composed of Lynne Douglas, Susan Miller, Jeanie Roundy and Beth McFadden. And the evening’s musical finale happens when everyone joins in a sing-along of carols with Susan McLane playing tunes on the 1854 Rosewood piano in the parlor.

Come for the music, stay for the food. It was at one of these Open House events that your faithful scribe was introduced to the taste of room-temperature Brie on crackers. You are sure to find something savory or sweet to please your palate.

But the event is about more than great food, Christmas carols and beautiful seasonal greenery, believes Pelham Lyles.

“This is a Winnsboro tradition,” she said. “It’s Fairfield’s kick-off to the Christmas season.”

She added, “this event is all about our community coming together, everybody participating, creating, enjoying. It’s a warm spirit – sort of like going to the Post Office in Winnsboro in the mornings where everyone is friendly, and people always open the door for each other.”

This Christmas season, Pelham Lyles and her museum volunteers are opening the door for you. Please come inside and celebrate the season with the community.

Dear readers, this will be my final column for The Voice. The Man About Town is moving on to new challenges in a full-time position at another newspaper. I have enjoyed bringing you news of community events both historical and cultural from Winnsboro, Ridgeway and Blythewood and I hope that some of my columns have inspired you to attend a new event, join an organization or give of your time as a volunteer to one of our many agencies that depend on volunteer assistance to make our communities a better place. It’s been a great joy to share some of my discoveries with you. I have appreciated the opportunity The Voice has given me to write. Thanks, Barbara and James. It’s been a blast.

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