The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) presents A Benefit Street Holiday, a family-friendly day-long Holiday Festival launching the festive season of shopping, celebrations and homecomings in Providence on Saturday, December 3, 2011. The event begins with Len Cabral, an internationally acclaimed storyteller, who will enchant children with his folktales at the beginning of the morning children's program. Following the storytelling, children will be able to decorate a historic house gingerbread cookie. Children and families can come back in the afternoon to continue decorating gingerbread cookies, watch the Holiday pet parade, jump aboard hay rides, and join Mayor Angel Taveras and the Colonial regiment with a procession into Downtown, culminating at the Bank of America Skating Center for the Tree Lighting at 6:00 p.m. After the tree lighting, many Downtown shops will have entertainment and be open late for your shopping pleasure.

The day will continue with a self-guided house tour open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to adults and children over the age of 10. Guests will be treated to a personal glimpse of select Benefit Street houses, dressed up with holiday exuberance. Tour-goers will learn about this nationally significant collection of 18th-and 19th-century architecture from teams of trained volunteers at each house, and will find decorating ideas to incorporate into their own homes. This year's Festival will also feature guided walking tours and educational lectures. The historic Hope Club (6 Benevolent Street, Providence), a magnificent Edwardian-era private retreat rarely seen by the public, will open its splendid interiors to the public as the headquarters of this day of celebration, tradition and learning.

Nowhere in the city is the impact of historic preservation better demonstrated than on historic Benefit Street, where a grass roots advocacy group had the vision to save a mile of historic properties which most people saw as an eyesore best suited for the wrecking ball. Today, Benefit Street is recognized nationally both as an emblem of the historic preservation movement and as a special neighborhood in its own right.

Tour tickets are $25 in advance ($30 day of the event). Ticket prices for the Family Day are $25 per child (includes all children's activities). For more information or to purchase tickets, call PPS at 401-831-7440; or visit PPS online at Proceeds benefit the advocacy and education initiatives of PPS. For further information on the Holiday Festival, visit

The Providence Preservation Society, founded in 1956, is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in the city of Providence through historic preservation and enhancement of the built environment.