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Governor's Residence hosts virtual holiday open house

With COVID-19, the Lamonts made the difficult decision to not hold the event in-person. Instead, the 30th annual Holiday Open House is virtual
Credit: FOX61

Another holiday tradition has gone virtual in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Governor Ned Lamont and First Lady Annie Lamont today released a video extending holiday greetings to the residents of Connecticut and taking them on a virtual tour of the house as it is decorated for the season.

According to a release from the Governor's office: 

The Governor’s Residence, located at 990 Prospect Avenue in Hartford, was built in 1909 and has served as the official residence of the chief executive of Connecticut since 1943. It is used for many official functions of the governor and is made available to nonprofit organizations for charitable events throughout the year. While it is owned by the state, its preservation, restoration, and maintenance are aided by the Governor’s Residence Conservancy, a nonprofit organization.

For the last thirty years, governors have decorated the house for the holiday season and opened it to the public for tours over a several-day period in an event that includes live performances from local musicians. This year, following the advice of federal and state public health officials regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Lamonts made the difficult decision to not hold the annual event in-person. Instead, the 30th annual Holiday Open House is virtual.

“One of the best parts of the Christmas season for our family is sharing in the festivities with everyone, and that is why it pains us to not have the open house in-person this year, but it is the right and safe thing to do,” Governor Lamont said. “Like nearly every other event that’s happening this year, we decided to make the open house virtual and film a video to share greetings with everyone in Connecticut. We wish everyone a great and healthy season, and can’t wait until things are able to get back to normal so we can enjoy the festivities with everyone.”

All of the holiday decorations at the Governor’s Residence were privately donated at no cost to the state. The Christmas trees were donated by the Jones Family Farm. Wreaths, seasonal greenery, and plants were donated by the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association and the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association. Dining room table décor was donated by Lux Bond & Green Jewelers.

The video was produced at no cost to the state by the generosity of Alison Kenworthy, founder of Homeworthy Productions. Kenworthy is a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer who formerly worked at ABC’s Good Morning America. In 2019, she founded Homeworthy, a brand devoted to the idea that every home as a story. Homeworthy produces compelling short video profiles of interesting homes featuring the fascinating people who live in them and showcasing how homes shape peoples’ lives.

The video has been shared on Governor Lamont’s social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.