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Portland’s West End holiday-ready homes open to the public Nov. 22-23

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PORTLAND (Nov. 4, 2013) -- Dan Kennedy thinks about Christmas all year. He travels to Georgia and New York for holiday decorating events to gather the newest holiday decorations and discover the most beautiful trends. Once the Thanksgiving turkey is in the fridge, it’s work work work. Kennedy is a professional florist and decorator. He turns hotels and homes into winter wonderlands.

This year, Kennedy and his partner John Hatcher are opening their historic Victorian home on Pine Street in Portland to the public for the Divine Series Holiday Home Tour in Portland’s West End from Nov. 22-23. Professional designers will give each of the five homes a makeover to dazzle the public on this self-guided tour.

“When else do you get to take a peek in some of Portland’s finest homes?” said Lana Wescott, one of the event organizers.

This year, Kennedy is working on a safari theme for one of his living rooms.

“You can make any theme a holiday theme,” he said. “By adding shimmering textures and maybe some silver or gold, it can easily evoke, ‘holiday.’”

The foyer and front room will be more formal, as will the dining room, which will display Kennedy’s special holiday china.

Holiday Home Tour tickets are $25 now at thedivineseries.com or will be $30 at the door. A portion of proceeds benefit Mercy Hospital’s Gary’s House, which is a home away from home for the loved ones of people hospitalized near Portland.

Sponsors include Indisco, Broadreach Public Relations, Downeast Magazine, Saco & Biddeford Savings, Hammond Lumber, Wright Ryan Construction and Home Again by Hancock Lumber.