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Ho Ho Homes

For 35 years, the Cascia Christmas Walk has been a vital part of the Tulsa-area holiday fun and history, as well as a beneficial fundraising effort for the revered preparatory school.

Article
Michele Chiappetta
Photos
Courtesy
Posted
October 29, 2017

When the holidays roll around, craft shows and charity events abound in Green Country. As you choose which ones to participate in and enjoy this year, be sure to add to your calendar one of Tulsa’s best loved holiday events — the Cascia Christmas Walk, now in its 35th year, taking place Dec. 3.

If the name Cascia sounds familiar to you, it should. Cascia Hall, sponsor of the Cascia Christmas Walk, is one of Tulsa’s oldest and most revered preparatory schools. Drive south on Utica Avenue past Utica Square, and you will pass on your left-hand side 40 acres of greenery and gorgeously crafted stone buildings, which is Cascia’s campus. Founded in 1926 as a prep school for boys, with a single classroom building and monastery, Cascia Hall has expanded to become coed, with several additional classroom buildings including a performing arts center and chapel.

Although Cascia Hall remains a traditional Catholic school serving sixth through 12th-graders, it has evolved with the times to maintain its relevance and impact in the community. About 50 percent of its student body is Catholic, with the remainder representing other religions and denominations.

“It’s definitely a diverse community. And I think it’s a very inclusive environment,” says Heather Duncan, who along with Ashleigh Boedeker, is co-chair of this year’s Christmas Walk. Duncan and Boedeker both have children in Cascia Hall right now. As a private school, Cascia Hall charges tuition but is very dedicated to providing students with financial assistance, which is how the Cascia Christmas Walk came about.

As a private school, Cascia Hall charges tuition but is very dedicated to providing students with financial assistance, which is how the Cascia Christmas Walk came about.
‍As a private school, Cascia Hall charges tuition but is very dedicated to providing students with financial assistance, which is how the Cascia Christmas Walk came about.

The Walk — which tours nearby homes to showcase holiday decor — started 35 years ago as a way to connect the community to Cascia Hall, as well as to raise funds. And giving is a natural extension of the Cascia supporters’ routine. “We just have a supportive community,” says Boedeker.

For that first year, the event showcased five midtown homes. This year, the Christmas Walk invites attendees into four midtown Tulsa homes, all beautifully decorated for the holidays. You can either walk from house to house or take a shuttle that travels between the homes and the school campus.

Boedeker, whose home was on the tour a few years ago, says the event is very special for both homeowners and visitors. “It’s a tradition for a lot of people with their families,” she says. Homeowners on the tour decorate their homes in their preferred style, with the assistance of an area florist, to create a display that visitors can draw ideas from in decorating their own homes.

“It’s a fun, collaborative process. That’s what makes it different every year, seeing everybody’s different take on the holidays,” she says. “We don’t want red and green in every house. We want the traditional; we want contemporary. We try and represent all the different styles and the homeowners’ own tastes.”

The Walk — which tours nearby homes to showcase holiday decor — started 35 years ago as a way to connect the community to Cascia Hall.
The Walk — which tours nearby homes to showcase holiday decor — started 35 years ago as a way to connect the community to Cascia Hall.

Cascia Hall art students sketch the homes on the tour and present their work to the homeowners as a gift. And music students provide holiday musical entertainment in each home on the Christmas Walk, as well as in the school’s performing arts center. The school will also host an Art Walk exhibit in the PAC featuring local artists and Cascia alumni.

On the same day as the home tour, the ever-popular Christmas Boutique also takes place on the Cascia Hall campus. This year, the festive shopping event will feature around 60 vendors selling unique gifts, clothing, jewelry, food, and décor. The Vendors Boutique allows shoppers onto the campus and into the buildings, where you can admire the historical architecture while browsing for holiday gifts.

Of course, no holiday celebration would be complete without activities for the children. “This year, we’re starting a new event called the Santa Brunch,” says Duncan. “Santa Claus will be there, he’ll have a special brunch, craft and photos with the children in the morning.” Tickets for the brunch are $15 and may be purchased in person at Cascia Hall or online.

Boedeker and Duncan also suggest visiting the event’s Bistro — an on-campus “restaurant” where attendees of the Christmas Walk can enjoy lunch, coffee and dessert.

Proceeds from this year’s Christmas Walk will support Cascia Hall’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming as well as student tuition assistance. And for those interested in learning more about enrolling students at Cascia Hall, there is an Open House Nov. 5 from 1-3 p.m., followed by entrance exams Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions at 918-746-2604 or admissions@casciahall.com.

LOCATOR
Cascia Hall
2520 S. Yorktown Ave. | Tulsa
918-746-2600
casciahall.com

Cascia Christmas Walk
Dec. 3 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at door