Christmas is canceled... at the Burr house
FAIRFIELD — Improvements to the Burr Homestead mean no Enchanted Castle or Christmas Tree Festival, two long-standing traditions.
Both, however, expect to return in 2017.
In a press release sent out this week, the Christmas Tree Festival organizers announced the cancellation of this year’s event, noting the decision “was made several months ago based on the pending restorations and the uncertainty of timing for the completion.”
The Burr house is managed for the town by the Fairfield Museum and History Center, and Director Michael Jehle said the improvements started in May of this year. The construction is slated to be completed by the end of the 2016.
“We have had a very busy season of events at the Burr and have worked with them to accommodate their needs during construction,” Jehle said.
The Enchanted Castle announced on its website it was taking the year off as well, after 22 years. Sponsored by the Bridgeport Hospital Auxiliary, a Hallmark Holiday Event will be held in December in its stead. Proceeds benefit the Ahlbin Rehabilitation Center and the newborn icu at the hospital.
The Christmas Tree Festival, which began in 1981, is also a fundraiser, with a new recipient chosen each year. This year’s beneficiary was supposed to be the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, and organizers said the mission will now be honored as the 2017 recipient.
The town received a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant for the renovations, which include the removal of lead paint and asbestos in the basement, upgrades to the building’s electrical and fire alarm systems to current code, upgrading the plumbing and installing a new code compliant kitchen. A handiacpped accessible bathroom will also be added.