The annual Candlelight Tour of Homes in the Historic Old Northeast Sunday, December 11 was the most popular tour yet with 1600 guests enjoying the six homes built in the 1920s. The Roaring ‘20s themed tour featured houses ranging from classic craftsman bungalows to a Mediterranean Revival home in Granada Terrace.
The annual event is one of the most popular home tours in the Bay Area because it features homes in a neighborhood known for its dedication to historic preservation and holiday decorations that often wow attendees. “You can’t beat the combination of beautifully restored historic homes all decked out with seasonal charm,” said Nick Bell, president of the Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association (HONNA). “There’s a tangible sense of pride in the Old Northeast and it’s very apparent in the homes featured on the tour.”
The Candlelight Tour committee began working on the 2022 event in late summer, selling advertising, recruiting homes and volunteers, and charting a communications and advertising strategy. “It definitely takes a village, or in this case a neighborhood, to produce the event,” Nick said. “We have over 120 awesome volunteers who devote a great amount of time to making the tour successful. Our objective is to provide our guests with a complete experience of a fun afternoon and evening in the Old Northeast.”
The ”complete experience” this year expanded beyond the six classic homes to include a block party with food trucks and vintage autos and live musical performances at each of the homes. Because of the popularity of the tour, lines can form at the homes. Having live music helped entertain the guests while they waited to enter the residences. Post-tour feedback has been very positive with many guests saying they enjoyed the additional tour activities.
Part of the proceeds from the tour benefit a local organization chosen by the HONNA Board of Directors each year. This year’s beneficiary was CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse). The majority of the remaining funds are used to help replenish the Old Northeast’s beautiful canopy of street trees.
Ideas for the 2023 silver anniversary tour are already being floated and the committee will be keeping its eyes open for potential tour homes. “We believe it’s an honor to have your home featured on the tour,” Nick explained. “It showcases the love and dedication required to renovate and maintain homes built when St. Pete was still wet behind the ears. And it promotes one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city.”