Local News

Christmas Tree Walk marks 20th anniversary in Algonac

Photo courtesy of thechristmaswalk.com The Christmas Tree Walk home has been welcoming the public to stop in and checkout their huge displays for two decades.

Q & A with organizer sheds light on tradition

By Barb Pert Templeton

It’s a 9,500-square-foot log home located in Algonac, every inch decked out in Christmas décor, and visiting it during the holidays has been a staple for thousands of people for many years.

In fact, this year is the 20th Anniversary of the Kodet family opening their home for a major Christmas event that includes 300 trees with 130,000 ornaments and dozens of holiday displays. This year, Brett Kodet is carrying the tradition forward in memory of his father, Allen Kodet, mother Diane Kodet and brother Keith Kodet. 

Photo courtesy of thechristmaswalk.com
The Christmas Tree Walk in Algonac includes over 300 trees and numerous holiday displays.

The home will be open each Thurs, Fri., Sat. & Sun. in December beginning Dec. 1st thru Dec. 29th -excluding the 24th, 30th and 31st. Tour times are 2 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with limited tickets available for each time slot. 

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 2-12 and kids under 2 are free. Tickets that include a meal at Foxfire Fixin’s are $40 for adults and $23 for children 2-12. Tickets must be purchased 48 hours in advance and are available online at thechristmaswalk.com.

Bethany Wolf, a member of the Christmas Tree Walk staff, took the time to answer some questions about the history of the event going back two decades.

Blue Water Healthy Living: Is the 20th anniversary a big milestone – one never expected?

Bethany Wolf: Yes, it is a big milestone. We’re all very excited the walk has been happening for so long and people are still coming out to see it. After both Al and Diane passed away, we weren’t sure if we would be able to pull off the event, but thankfully everyone at ABC, ThumbPrint News and Foxfire Fixin’s, their three other businesses, have worked really hard in continuing it.

BWHL: How many trees and displays were there in the beginning?

Bethany Wolf: The first year there were 30 decorated trees in the home.

BWHL: What made the family open their house to the public for this event?

Photo courtesy of thechristmaswalk.com
The Christmas Tree Walk is open on 16 dates in December and tickets are currently available at thechristmaswalk.com. 

Bethany Wolf: The idea for the walk began back in 2003, when, for a special party for Diane’s school teacher friends to show them the many trees they had set up for the holidays. Her friends were so excited and impressed, they encouraged them to open the house up for the public to come and see. They opened it to the public the following year.

BWHL: Any idea the number of patrons the first few years versus the last few?

Bethany Wolf: The first year saw over 800 visitors to the walk. In 2019, we had over 4,500 guests. Since we’ve started limiting the number of people that can attend each tour, we now have slots for 3,200 guests. As of this last weekend we’ve sold just over 1,500 tickets, and have seven tour times that are sold out.

BWHL: What are the displays that draw the most interest and attention?

Bethany Wolf: There are so many displays throughout the home, it’s hard to narrow it down. I’ll go with the Victorian Tree in the great room. It has over 1,000 vintage and antique ornaments on it and is 15′ tall. I also enjoy the Hallmark room on the top floor that is filled with multiple trees and displays that were all produced by Hallmark. Also, this year we have our new Kodet Memorial Trees which are special to all of us working the Walk, and we hope guests will also love them.

BWHL: Were the ornaments always part of the displays – special ones?

Bethany Wolf: Yes, ornaments were always part of the displays. Al and Diane spent over 40 years collecting and knew a lot about Christmas, as well as extensively researched what they didn’t know. The early trees were each decorated with a different theme or from a different period in history. The ornaments, decorations and other holiday displays offered visitors to the home an insight into Christmas history from the 1850s until the present.

BWHL: How about the pool room, will that be open this year?

Photo courtesy of thechristmaswalk.com
The pool room is a popular spot inside the Christmas Tree house in Algonac and will be the starting point and check-in spot for this year’s event.

Bethany Wolf: Yes, the pool room is where people will enter and check in. It is also where we have the Kodet Memorial Trees set up. We wanted people to be able to view them as they enter the home, and then take a few minutes to take a closer look at all the special ornaments as they leave the home after seeing everything else set up in the home.

BWHL: What’s the biggest tip you can offer patrons about how to make their way through the house and not miss any displays or is that even possible?

Bethany Wolf: Since it’s a self-guided tour it is easy to completely miss areas of the home. We encourage guests to take their time, which is part of why we’ve done 2-hour blocks. It takes about a full hour to see everything in the home, but there are sofas and chairs on each level of the home, so we want guests to feel free to sit down and relax if they need to. They are also able to take as many pictures of the trees and displays as they’d like. My personal suggestion is to go upstairs first and make your way down, and then make sure to check out the garage off the pool room before you leave — it’s easy to miss.  Other than that, have fun and be respectful to the home and displays.

The Christmas Tree Home is located at 8945 Marsh Road in Algonac. You may also call ThumbPrint News at 810-794-2300 for more information.

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