'Christmas Spectacular!' Opens Nov. 15 at the Stetson Mansion, Florida's Most Popular Tourist Attraction

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DELAND, Fla., Oct. 26, 2015 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Stetson Mansion, named by Trip Advisor as Florida's Most Popular Landmark Tourist Attraction, will re-open on Nov. 15, 2015 for its annual "Christmas Spectacular!" Lively holiday tours of the opulent all-wood 1886 palace of famed hat maker John B. Stetson will operate three times daily through Jan. 15. Elaborate designer decorations from around the world will delight visitors to the largest, grandest, and most historic home ever built in Florida before the 20th century.

The ornate three story High Victorian mansion displays different Christmas decorations every year. This year, rooms will draw their elegant holiday inspiration from the Nativity, Norman Rockwell, Paris, Santa, servicemen, and Stetson.

"The Victorians began our modern Christmas traditions such as Christmas trees and gift giving, so what better place to experience Christmas than in a Victorian home!" said Robin Markus, a tour Guide at the Mansion. She added, "The dining room is all about the Nativity. The parlor decorations will be inspired by the rich history and tradition of John B. Stetson, a devout Baptist, and the 150th anniversary of his hat company."

John B. Stetson, the maker of America's most iconic symbol, the Stetson cowboy hat, built Florida's first luxury estate outside of Orlando where he wintered for 20 years. Listed on the National Register, the Mansion offers visitors a feast for the eyes. In addition to the over the top Christmas decorations, there are rich original architectural details which include 16 intricate wood parquet floor patterns and beautiful windows with 10,000 panes of antique glass.

Entertaining tour guides share tales about the Christmas decorations, the Stetsons and the Mansion. They also relay the story about the current owners Michael Solari and JT Thompson who rescued and restored the hidden and unknown declining estate in 2007.

The Stetson Mansion is a private occupied residence and one of the first homes in the world designed and built with electricity, courtesy of Stetson's friend Thomas Edison.

"To think I live in a home where Edison walked and where some of the world's first Christmas lights were plugged in, is kind of awesome," says owner JT Thompson. The Mansion's impressive guest register includes notable visitors such as President Cleveland, King Edward the VII and Henry Flagler. Current visitors are amazed that they are also treated like guests instead of tourists.

"Where else can you enter the owner's private suite, sit on the furniture and get into the holiday spirit?" laughed guide Debbie Pixley.

Tours last about an hour and a half and will operate three times daily November 15 thru January 15, 2016. Reservations are required for all tours and can only be made on The Stetson Mansion is located between Orlando and Daytona Beach, in quaint DeLand, Fla.

"Christmas Spectacular!" Nov. 15, 2015 - Jan. 15, 2016
Reservations Required.
10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 5 p.m.
$25 + tax, free parking.
Book tours at
Stetson Mansion, 1031 Camphor lane DeLand, FL 32720; 386-873-0167.


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REFERENCES: Christmas Spectacular, Florida attractions, home tour, famed hat maker John B. Stetson, holidays, Christmas decorating, news, press release from Stetson Mansion, Oct 26, 2015, Regional Events, Entertainment, Home and Garden, Deland, Florida, 'Christmas Spectacular!' Opens Nov. 15 at the Stetson Mansion, Florida's Most Popular Tourist Attraction