Want a good excuse to poke around other peoples' homes?
The annual Holiday Tour of Homes benefiting Minot's Taube Museum of Art is scheduled for Dec. 1.
Nancy Walter, at the Taube Museum, said they've been doing it a long time, "probably like 20 years."
Jesse D. Watson/MDN
Brent Askvig, of Minot, acts as one of the two curators for what could be called the Askvig Nativity Museum.
Only a good event could ensure the kind of popularity it takes to keep something running for two decades.
"It's definitely looked forward to (and) well-attended by the community," she said.
People who put their houses on the tour get a few bells and whistles, like a stay in a hotel the night before if they'd like it.
"They're giving us a gift for letting us into their home," she said. "It takes a very special individual to do this kind of thing."
Indeed, it does take a special sort, as the houses are entirely open, with the Andy and Dani Solsvig home being the only exception since it was flooded and the basement isn't quite finished yet.
"We really encourage (participants) to have the whole home on the tour," Walter said, which makes good-natured snooping easier.
While there are no repeat homes from last year, there are some repeat homeowners. Last year, the Solsvigs showed off their FEMA trailer, which they had decorated to show that the holiday spirit could exist anywhere. This year, their recovered home will be on display, with the exception of the basement. The progression from flooded house to redone house will be highlighted.
Each of the homes has its special feature or two.
Larry and Tammy Schafer's home is referred to as a "sleeper home," Walter said.
"(It's) kind of a surprise, just because the outside doesn't look like it's large, but the inside is 4,000 square feet," Walter said.
She also said all the woodworking in the Schafer home was done by Larry himself. The home has thousands of Hot Wheels on display, too.
"Magnificent views from every room," she said are featured at the home of Joe and Joyce Alme, and perhaps one of the biggest draws of the tour will be the Arlene Theater, where the Mouse River Players do their performances.
The Askvig home will be remembered chiefly for a display of 400 Nativities throughout the interior (and one outside).
"Actually," Brent Askvig confirmed, "it's up to about 426 Nativities now."
His wife, Stacy, is a vociferous collector. There's a tremendous variety from many cultures and places, most or all with informational cards.
"It doesn't feel like 400 Nativities," Askvig said, because they're spread evenly throughout the house.
"Each home has something unique," Walter assured.
Those interested in the tour should also be assured the proceeds will go to a good cause.
And, you'll get to snoop around other peoples' houses.