PreTour tickets go on sale Friday, May 4. Join us online or at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St., to get your tickets starting at 9 a.m.

The German Village Haus und Garten Tour was "invented" in 1960 by Frank Fetch and other founders of the German Village Society, but in this -- its 59th iteration -- we have a BUNCH of new ideas.

The tour is the society's premier fundraiser, family reunion and neighborhood event and will be held June 23 and 24, presented by Vutech Ruff, HER Realtors. You cannot miss the fun when we unveil this year's theme: Expect the Unexpected!

If you are brand new here, a tiny bit of background might help. Saturday night is the PreTour event, which I like to call our "deconstructed gala."

First, about 725 of your nearest and dearest neighbors attend a Cocktail Party presented by Coldwell Banker King Thompson in Schiller Park.

Then ticketholders tour the homes that will be open to the public the next day, but without the lines. Finally, each guest goes to one of 25 host homes and businesses throughout the historic district for dinner -- that is the deconstructed part.

Sunday, about 4,000 guests come to see the homes. Giant Eagle sells our tickets through their 19 stores in central Ohio, so that really boosts our attendance and outreach.

If you have seen a Haus und Garten Weekend before, here is what is new:

* The Cocktail Party will be in Schiller Park. City rules have changed, and now the process of getting a liquor permit at the park is easier for neighborhood nonprofits organizations.

* Now that the Cocktail Party tent will be in the park, we can add Sunday brunch to our line-up of offerings, thanks to food partners Two Caterers, LA Catering and Katzinger's.

* We have streamlined PreTour ticket pricing. Cocktail Party only prices will be $100 each, or $350 for 4 Cocktail tickets. Dinner tickets will be $175 each, member or non-member. Patron-level tickets are $1,250 for 4 tickets. The patron level comes with sponsor recognition and "first dibs" on dinner selection. Golf carts will rent for $295. You must buy group tickets as a group. Please. It saves us so much confusion later if you round up the money from your friends and have one of you purchase all the tickets together.

* Those golf carts -- long the most joyous part of PreTour, ever since Mohawk neighbor Mike Cornelis suggested we rent 'em out for Saturday night -- will be valet picked up at night's end. You can joyride them around all the way up to your dinner appointment, and then we will come and pick them up. No leaving the party early and no worry about who the designated driver should be.

* Sunday's event is trimming 30 minutes off the end of the day. Homes will be open on Sunday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* No waiting for the beer truck, In past year's we've ended the day by celebrating our annual award-winners, but this year's awards will be given in August instead.

Everyone is hot and tired after making the weekend a success, so this year -- just head home. We will invite you back to celebrate our awardees on Aug. 17. We will award our Wet Paint Contest winners during the Art Committee's exhibit opening July 1.

* It's a Host Committee. For many years, the tour has been led by a Tour chairman and a PreTour chairman, with a slate of about 22 key committee members making it happen.

This year and next -- our 60th Tour in 2019 -- this team is serving as your volunteer leadership Host Committee for Haus und Garten:

Darci Congrove, Meghan Conrad, Lynn Elliott, Chris Hune, Marie Logothetis, Christine Schillinger, Tracie Stamm, Alberta Stevens, Nicole Wilkerson, Joshua Zimmerman.

* And did we mention? Surprises. Around. Every. Corner.

German Village Society Executive Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column .