Christmas at the Belvidere fundraiser and gift show is well-known and draws visitors from across state lines. The Belvidere’s holiday decor is rolled out around the first Tuesday of November, with new merchandise added daily. The mansion will stay decorated until approximately mid-January.
The fundraiser is important, for most of the operating budget, for the following year’s monthly expenses and fees are earned during this time. A large group of volunteers is required to make the project run smoothly, and we are proud to have a number of talented and dedicated members who bring it together.
The gift shop is open all year, but during Christmas the entire mansion gets special treatment, with themed trees, decorated mantels and garlands throughout. During Claremore’s Dickens Days in late November, the Belvidere is open in the evening as well so guests can experience the magic of a dozen or more sparkling trees. All of this finery is planned and purchased by our volunteers earlier in the year, with many hours spent preparing for the grand opening, “lights on” in early November.
In 1997 the Belvidere Mansion was only open when a volunteer, like then-president Lois Hawkins, could be there. At that time the Belvidere had a craft show at Christmas, with consignors bringing in products to sell and a wonderful staff of volunteers who brought it all together. Virtually every room was full of items for sale.
Three years later, members Kathy Wilken and Sara Selvy began going to market, establishing vendor contacts and transforming the gift shop and Christmas experience from a craft show into a business.So many customers asked for a tea room, that one was opened in 2005, with RCHS taking over operations in 2008.
In 2010, Kathy assumed full time management of the Tea Room Restaurant. In failing health, Sara gave over her duties as buyer to Morgan Williams and Cynthia McVicar. The gift shop features a collection of old and new merchandise, a combination of genuine vintage and vintage styles of clothing, jewelry, art, and home decor.
Each year, the Christmas Display changes, so it can be a new experience for repeat visitors. Come be a part of our tradition, and make a new one of your own!
MANSION & GIFT SHOP HOURS
Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 3pm
CLOSED SUNDAY & MONDAY
BELVIDERE TEA ROOM HOURS
Tuesday through Saturday 11am-2pm
CLOSED SUNDAY & MONDAY