The Davis-Shai House in Heath is celebrating its annual holiday gathering from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, with three floors of Christmas decorations.

The Davis-Shai House in Heath is celebrating its annual holiday gathering from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, with three floors of Christmas decorations.

"This year is the most beautiful the house has ever been," said executive director Janice Wilkin.

It takes 80 volunteers about two months to completely decorate the 147-year-old Victorian home inside and out.

The outside is lighted with Christmas decorations and every room inside is decorated differently.

"This year's theme is "A Cascade of Winter Beauty and Christmas Animation'," Wilkin said.

The cascade of water in the home's canal room was created by Greg Fracker of Colorscapes and Brian McLoughlin of Lones Stone Landscape and Supply. The water feature was still being adjusted last week so the water would flow properly over the rocks past snow-covered trees. The rest of the room is filled with aptly decorated Christmas trees.

The Christmas animation - provided by Bob and Sue Ann Campbell - is in 16 windows created by Bob for the home. Wilkin said the idea came from the animated holiday windows popular years ago in department stores. The Campbells were able to recreate a piece of that history, using two operational trains, a circus and another waterfall.

When decorating, the volunteers can choose from an array of ornaments and decorations purchased by the Davis-Shai House, and some new pieces are purchased annually, Wilkin said.

Volunteers also coordinate their decorations with the work of local artists. This year, the home features the work of 10 artists, all of whom have contributed winter scenes for display. Their artwork is displayed in two rooms, in two parts of the home's lobby, along the staircase to the second floor and on the landing.

Finishing touches were being put on the home last week in anticipation of the annual event, which attracts about 1,000 people, said Heath Mayor Richard Waugh.

Entertainment will be held throughout the evening. Outside, in a heated tent, Don Basham's one-man-band kicks off the festivities at 5 p.m. He will be followed by barbershop quartet Spare Change at 5:30 p.m., the Newark Maennerchor Singers at 6 p.m., the GospeLife Singers at 6:30 p.m., a reading by Father Christmas at 7 p.m., the Shiloh Baptist Mass Choir at 7:30 p.m., and the Garrett Dance Arts at 8 p.m. Basham then will conduct a sing-a-long at 8:30 p.m.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will be given around the house and collectible gifts will be available inside in the Fairview Room.

Inside the home, the following artists will perform in three rooms: harpist Abigail Bachelor, from 5:15 to 6 and 7:45 to 8:30 p.m.; barbershop quartet Spare Change from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m.; Sounds of Praise from 5 to 5:45 p.m.; and the St. Francis DeSales Choir from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m.

The entrance into the house, at 301 Central Parkway, will be closed the night of the event. Parking will be available at nearby businesses and shuttles will run people to the house and back between 5 and 9:30 p.m.

The event is free. The Victorian Christmas Open House is funded by Heath and the Heath Community Arts Council. The Davis-Shai House operates with funding through the area bed tax and from revenue it generates from its annual programming.

lwince@thisweeknews.com