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Preparing for Holiday Homes Tour and MarketPlace

McLean Woman’s Club gets ready for annual fundraiser.

The first house on the tour.

The first house on the tour. Photo by Laura Sheridan/Woman’s Club of McLean

The Woman’s Club of McLean is in the final stages of planning for its 46th annual Holiday Homes Tour and MarketPlace, to be held Thursday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The self-guided tour will take place in the leafy, secluded enclave of River Oaks in northwest McLean, between the Beltway and the Potomac River.

River Oaks can be reached by taking Balls Hill Road (via Old Dominion Drive) north across Georgetown Pike, passing Benjamin Street on the right, turning left to cross the beltway bridge, making a right onto Live Oak Drive and continuing a quarter of a mile, past the Langley Swim Club. Visitors may park on Live Oak and Rivercrest Drive.

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A castle-style mansion.

THE HOLIDAY HOMES TOUR will focus on four large houses on Rivercrest and Live Oak Drives, each reflecting a distinct architectural style. Perhaps the most striking will be “the castle”—as neighbors refer to it—featuring a stone exterior with a Romanesque tower and 12-foot-high mahogany entrance doors. The home backs up to the Potomac, has a double basement with a swimming pool and has recently been listed for $12.5 million. The other three houses are large brick mansions, one in the traditional manor style, another of French Provincial design and the third in conservatively modern red brick. Large foyers, high ceilings, elegant chandeliers and beautifully landscaped terraces/yards are among these homes’ distinctive features. In addition, all four houses will be festively decorated for the holidays by Woman’s Club members in consultation with the homeowners. The cherry on top, holiday music will ring throughout the decked halls.

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A French Provincial-style home.

On the same day, Dec. 6, the Woman’s Club is sponsoring a separate MarketPlace in central McLean at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1205 Dolley Madison Blvd. It will offer a dozen or more vendors, a lunch and dessert concession and a silent auction of merchandise and services. The MarketPlace will be free. Products and services for sale will include jewelry, clothing, handbags, housewares, foods, decorative items, portrait sketching and Homes Tour tickets. A Woman’s Club bakery will sell homemade baked goods and preserves. Lunch will be available on site from Sweet Leaf of McLean from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and drinks and desserts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The silent auction, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will solicit bids for 36 different products and services, from hotel stays and fitness classes to theater tickets and portrait photography, with drawings at 3 p.m. Ample parking will be available in the church lots.

TICKETS for the Homes Tour will be $25 if purchased before the day of the tour and $30 if purchased on Dec. 6. Besides the tickets available at the MarketPlace, tickets will be for sale at each tour house on Dec. 6 and at three local businesses before that date: Mesmeralda’s Gifts of McLean (1339 Chain Bridge Road, McLean), Karin’s Florist of Vienna (527 Maple Ave., E., Vienna) and Great Dogs of Great Falls (9859 Georgetown Pike).

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A traditional manor-style house.

The honorary chairman of this year’s Holiday Homes Tour and MarketPlace will be Virginia State House Delegate Barbara J. Comstock (R-34). A formal ribbon cutting with officials and invited guests will take place at the first home on the tour, 616 Live Oak Drive, at 9:45 a.m. on Dec. 6.

All proceeds of the Homes Tour and MarketPlace will be donated to local charities and nonprofits, such as Share, Inc., Alternative House, the McLean Project for the Arts (The Children’s Outreach), Claude Moore Colonial Farm, the McLean Volunteer Fire Department, Fisher House and the McLean Symphony, as well as used for scholarships and education.

For more information call 703-356-9646 or 703-556-0197.