PORTSMOUTH-For some, the holidays don’t start until they not only feel the cold in their bones and the festive season in their hearts, but also a religious spirit running through them as they welcome an important time of year when it comes to their faith.
The Annual Tour of Churches is a local Christmas tradition that does just that, and the event is planned for December 9.
The Tour of Churches is being co-managed this year by community champion Shelby Powell and Portsmouth Area Ladies’ Therese Egbert.
The tour begins at the Scioto County Courthouse at 6 p.m., where cookies and hot chocolate are served. Entertainment begins at 6 p.m., which is also when the first tour leaves. A tour will leave every 30 minutes from them on, with a final tour leaving at 7:30 p.m.
“Expect to walk from the courthouse to each church, so bundle up and wear appropriate shoes. Each church will give a brief history, and some provide music as well,” Explained Egbert. “The first church is Grace Community at Bigelow Church, next is St. Mary’s Catholic Church, followed by All Saints Episcopal church. The last church on the tour is First Presbyterian, where cookies and punch are served at the end.”
The entertainment is a valuable asset to the event, according to Powell, who says it is enjoyed every year by people waiting for their tour to begin.
“We will have Amy Howard’s musical group, who has young children that she teaches; Becky Climer will be playing her harp; and Trent Williams’ Boneyfiddle Brass will be playing,” Shelby Powell said of the Courthouse opening. “The music and the tour are both free to the public. It always has been free, and I hope it continues to always be that way, because the Tour of Churches is about the Christmas spirit of the community. People have always supported it— even when we did a virtual tour during Covid. We’ve always continued it, because people in the community have looked forward to it every year.”
Egbert is new to organizing the event with Powell. She says she is excited to continue the legacy, due to the history of the Boneyfiddle area and stories from within the halls of our historic churches.
“The tour of churches is an event that always puts me in the Christmas spirit. I started going with my husband’s family 19 years ago, and it has been a Christmas tradition for us ever since,” Egbert said. “We invite you to come with us back to when Portsmouth was in its infancy. Hear the stories and learn the history of the oldest churches in town, while making Christmas memories with family and friends.”
The Tour of Churches is at 6 p.m. on December 9. The starting point is at the County Courthouse. The event is free to the public.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved