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Shinn column: Play your part in 33rd annual OctoberTour

Sure, the calendar says June. But plans are already under way for the 33rd annual OctoberTour.
Historic Salisbury Foundation’s flagship event is set for Oct. 11-12.
Organizers held a kick-off party Tuesday afternoon at Stelia, a new restaurant and martini bar in downtown Salisbury at 118 N. Main St.
“We have to start early,” said Blanche Sherrill, HSF’s board president. “It takes an enormous amount of planning.”
Co-chair Mary Padavick agreed.
“It’s a Herculean effort to pull this off,” she said.
Guests noshed on a buffet of delicious hors d’oeuvres ó fruit, cheese, crackers, veggies, mini egg rolls and cheesecake bites, included.
After holding off the enthusiastic crowd of three dozen as long as she could, Padavick announced this year’s residents who have graciously agreed to open their homes for the tour:
* Chris and Lisa Ragsdale, 221 W. Thomas St.
* Kimberly Hobbs, 108 N. Fulton St.
* John and Tracy McMillin, 333 Oakview Drive
* Syed Ahmed and Whitney Peckman, 120 S. Main St.
* Michael and Connie Baker, 122 S. Main St.
* Hall House, 226 S. Jackson St.
Co-chair Barb Sorel said planners are seeking at least two, maybe three other homeowners to participate.
An interesting twist to this year’s tour will the two homes on display in the old Flowers Bakery Building.
“It’s gonna kinda show what’s been done in a historic building where people live and work,” Baker said.
The couples’ studio space is on the first floor of the building, with living space upstairs. All four are artists.
“It will give people a little different opportunity rather than seeing a traditional historic home,” Baker continued.
“It’s a big deal in Salisbury. It’s gonna be great to be here and see the tour, too.”
Organizers are also seeking an army of volunteers to help in myriad aspects of the weekend.
Sorel, Padavick and other HSF volunteers passed out buttons which read “OctoberTour ó What’s your part?”
Jack Thomson, HSF’s director, can’t overstate the importance of OctoberTour ó to the foundation and to the city.
“In the 32 years of OctoberTour, it has brought thousands of people to our great city and introduced people to Salisbury. It’s helping to revitalize the city and bring new and fresh faces here.
“OctoberTour is the flagship fundraiser for Historic Salisbury Foundation. OctoberTour is what pulls us through with our operational funds.”
It’s a lot of work, but a great deal of enjoyment for visitors.
Organizers certainly hope you’ll “Fall for OctoberTour,” this year’s theme.
“Send volunteers our way!” Padavick said.
If you’re interested in being involved in this year’s OctoberTour, call Historic Salisbury Foundation at 704-636-0103.
Contact Susan Shinn at sshinn@salisburypost.com

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