How do I get my tickets to the live tour this year?
This year, all general admission tickets to the live tour are digital. Shortly after you purchase your live tour tickets, you will receive an email with the subject line, "Your Tickets for 2023 Sugar Plum Tour of Holiday Homes." You will receive your confirmation email and ticket at the email address you used when you purchased your ticket on Eventbrite. A printable PDF ticket is attached to the email. If you purchased more than one ticket, you will find all tickets in the single PDF attachment. If you're having trouble finding your tickets, click the orange button in the confirmation email that reads, "Go to My Tickets." This button will take you to your Eventbrite account, where you can find any tickets you've purchased.
Upon arriving at a home, you have a few options to gain entry. You may present a digital Eventbrite ticket to a volunteer. You can show the digital ticket via your email app, or you can download the Eventbrite app. Through the Eventbrite app, you will be able to save and show your ticket to a volunteer at each home. You can also print the ticket attached to your confirmation email, and bring it with you on the day of the tour. Each attendee will need to show their own ticket at each house. Sponsors who attend the Patron Party on Saturday evening will also receive a wristband that can be used as a ticket for the live tour on Sunday.
How many homes will be on this year's tour?
The live tour will feature five fabulously decorated homes throughout Greater Akron. Sponsors are also invited to the private Patron Party at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens on Saturday, Dec. 2, to kick off this year's tour. The virtual tour will feature professionally filmed tours of seven exquisite homes.
How much do tickets cost and where can they be purchased?
Early bird tickets are $30 each (plus Eventbrite processing fees) for the live or virtual tour, or $50* for a package of both live and virtual tour tickets. Early bird tickets can be purchased online through Oct. 31. As an added benefit, the full ticket price is tax deductible (minus the Eventbrite processing fee). General admission ticket sales begin Nov. 1, with live or virtual tour tickets available for $35 each (plus Eventbrite processing fees), or $60* for a package of both live and virtual tour tickets.
*To receive the package discount, guests must purchase the live and virtual ticket package in a single transaction. Live and virtual tour tickets purchased separately do not qualify for the discounted rate. Tickets are not refundable but may be transferred to another guest.
What do proceeds from the Sugar Plum Tour support?
As the signature fundraiser of the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, all proceeds from the Sugar Plum Tour remain in Greater Akron to benefit your community. Since 2005, GCEF has reinvested more than $750,000 into programs that positively impact the local LGBTQ+ community and Greater Akron as a whole. By purchasing tickets to or becoming a sponsor of the Sugar Plum Tour, you are generously supporting the fund’s mission of advancing a lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people in Greater Akron. We couldn't do it without you!
How can I or my company sponsor the Sugar Plum Tour?
Becoming a sponsor is an excellent opportunity for businesses and individuals to show their support for inclusion and diversity in our community. Corporate and individual sponsorships range from $500+ to $15,000+. Sponsors receive tickets to both the live and virtual tours, as well as the private Patron Party at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, which will take place before the live tour on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 9 p.m. Sponsors at the $2,500 level and above are also invited to a special brunch and preview tour with this year’s homeowners. Sponsors at the $5,000 level and above will be invited to a VIP reception prior to the Patron Party. You can view this year's tax-deductible sponsorship opportunities on our website, or learn more by contacting Malia Rivera at email@example.com or 330-436-5649.
Please note: We gladly accept gifts from donor-advised funds and IRAs. However, per IRS regulations, sponsorships from donor-advised funds and IRAs cannot receive any benefits, including but not limited to event tickets, gifts, food, beverages and other items of value. If you plan to support the Sugar Plum Tour with a gift from your donor-advised fund or IRA, please contact Deb Hoffman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-436-5614.
How will the pre-tour Patron Party at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens work?
Sponsors will park in the main parking lot at Stan Hywet and check in for the party at the carriage house. From the carriage house, it is about a five-minute walk to the party venue. Volunteers and signs will be on the path to guide you to the former gymnasium, where the party will take place. Guests will be able to stroll through the light displays and greenhouse at their leisure from 5 to 9 p.m., as well as walk through the house as part of the Deck the Hall tour. Patron Party guests must wear their wristbands at all times in order to utilize the exclusive Sugar Plum entrance to the main house tour. There are no rainchecks or alternate dates for the Patron Party. We will only cancel or postpone the event if Stan Hywet is closed.
Since guests will be able to walk around outdoors, we recommend everyone dress for winter weather. Outdoor temperatures will not affect this gathering. There will be a coat check available for guests to leave their coats while indoors.
Refreshments and entertainment will be provided during the party in the former gymnasium of the home; however, food and drinks must remain in the designated Patron Party area at all times.
I am a sponsor, but am unable to attend the Patron Party on Saturday evening. How will I receive my wristband for the live tour, as well as my commemorative holiday ornament?
Specifics about wristband and ornament pickup or delivery options will be sent to sponsors prior to the tour weekend. Contact Malia Rivera at email@example.com or 330-436-5649 with questions.
What if the main parking lot is full by the time I arrive at the Patron Party?
If the parking lot is full when you arrive, you will be directed to a satellite parking lot with shuttle service back to the carriage house. The shuttle will run at regular intervals throughout the night. The shuttle will continue taking guests to the satellite parking lots after 9 p.m., until all guests have made it back to their cars.
I have a disability plate or placard on my car. Where should I park at Stan Hywet?
Stan Hywet has designated accessible parking spaces available. If you arrive at the main gates and are told that the parking lot is full, please show your placard or plate to the attendant. There may still be accessible spaces available, and you will be let through the gates to park. If even those spots are full, you will be directed to park in a satellite lot and will take the shuttle to Stan Hywet.
Live Tour FAQs
Where do I pick up my tickets?
For the first time, tickets for the live tour will be digital. Upon arriving at a home, please present a digital (or printed) Eventbrite ticket to a volunteer. You should receive your ticket at the email address you used when you purchased your ticket on Eventbrite. Each attendee will need to show their own ticket at each house. Sponsors who attend the Patron Party on Saturday evening will also receive a wristband that can be used as a ticket for the live tour on Sunday.
I purchased a ticket but can no longer attend the tour. What should I do?
Tickets are nonrefundable but may be transferred. You are welcome to give your ticket to a friend or family member who will enjoy the tour. Please email Malia Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a change to your reservation.
Where do I find the home locations?
A mobile-friendly online tour guide and map will be emailed to you on the morning of the tour for your convenience. There will also be a limited amount of printed tour guides available at each home on the tour.
How do I access the online tour guide?
You will receive an email from Eventbrite by 9 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, with a link to the online tour guide and home locations. If you do not receive the email, please check your spam folder or email email@example.com for assistance.
When can I begin touring the homes?
Guests may tour the homes in any order from 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. Out of respect for the homeowners, please do not arrive before 12 p.m. or after 5 p.m.
Can I take photos of the homes?
Yes, guests are encouraged to take photos of their tour experience and share it on social media, tagging @GayCommunityEndowmentFund on Facebook and Instagram. Photos are for personal use only and may not be used for commercial purposes. Please be respectful of the homeowners and stay within the indicated tour path. Some areas of the homes may be closed off for privacy.
Virtual Tour FAQs
How do I access the virtual tour?
You will receive an email from Eventbrite by 9 a.m. EST on Saturday, Dec. 9, with a link to view the tour. If you do not receive the email by 10 a.m., please check your spam folder or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. The email will be sent to the email address you used to purchase your tickets. If you purchased gift tickets, your recipients will also receive the link to view the tour at the email addresses you provided at the time of registration. Tickets purchased on Saturday, Dec. 9, or Sunday, Dec. 10, will include a link to view the tour within the confirmation email.
Once I receive the email, how do I view the tour videos?
Please click the link in the email to view the web page with the tour videos. The videos will all be available on a single web page, allowing you to view the tour at your leisure in any order you choose. The videos can be watched on your phone, tablet, laptop or home computer. You can also connect your computer to your TV to enjoy a big-screen tour experience.
How long do I have to view the tour?
The tour videos will be available until 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023. During that time, you may enjoy the videos as many times as you would like. You can also choose to start the tour on Saturday and then come back to finish it on Sunday. Make it a weekend to remember!
What if I don’t view the tour while the videos are available?
The tour videos will only be available the weekend of Dec. 9 and 10, 2023. After that time, they will expire and will no longer be available for viewing. Refunds cannot be issued if you are unable to view the tour.
What if I have technology issues?
We strongly encourage you to test your internet connection prior to the tour. Unfortunately, the Gay Community Endowment Fund is not able to troubleshoot our guests’ technology issues. We recommend contacting your internet provider for assistance.
Can I share or record the tour videos?
The virtual tour videos are for personal use only and may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of Akron Community Foundation. Guests are not permitted to record, screenshot or share any content from the tour. For more information, please call 330-376-8522.
If you have additional questions about the tour, please contact Malia Rivera at email@example.com or 330-436-5649.