Gillette Castle State Park open for holiday tours again despite budget cuts

EAST HADDAM — The former estate of actor William Gillette, known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, is once again open for holiday tours.

The landmark castle-like estate, a hugely popular tourist attraction perched above the Connecticut River, had been decorated for holiday visitors in past years. That stopped after 2015, due to cuts in state funding, said Wendy Vincent, President of Friends of Gillette Castle.

Director of Connecticut State Parks Tom Tyler says many volunteers, businesses, community members, Friends of Connecticut State Parks groups and park staff decorated the castle for the holidays. The Friends of Gillette Castle say a grant from Dominion Energy was key to restarting the holiday tours.

This year Gillette Castle will be open every Friday, from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and every Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., until December 23.

Tickets can be purchased at the state park's visitor center or pre-purchased online at reserveamerica.com . The museum entrance fee is $6 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-12 and free for children ages 5 and under.

Live performances, actors, bonfires, carolers, a cider mill and a children's scavenger hunt will be among the attractions on tour days.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.