Parade of Homes set this weekend in Farmington
FARMINGTON — When it comes time each year for the Woman’s Club of Farmington to put together the Parade of Homes tour, organizers rely to a great extent on personal acquaintances to help them complete the lineup.
But they also do a lot of “cold calling” — knocking on the doors of strangers — to convince the owners of particularly attractive or interesting-looking homes to allow their houses to become part of the tour.
This year’s event takes place Saturday at four homes throughout the city and serves as the largest annual fundraiser for the Woman’s Club of Farmington, benefiting organizations ranging from Navajo Ministries and the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park to Daily Bread and the ECHO Food Bank.
This year’s tour includes the homes of Robert Ferguson at 6255 Hood Mesa Trail, George and Melissa Sharpe at 6100 Quail Run, Nathan and Misty Vaughn at 636 Ridge Lea, and Gene and Audrie Bennett at 1241 Laguna Ave.
“We think we’ve got four wonderful homes this year,” said Joan Watkins, who is organizing the event with Kathy Hooper.
Watkins said she and Hooper try to come up with a mix of styles, locations and ages when they pick the homes each year, and this year’s group is a good example of that. The Bennett home is an older one, as it was constructed in 1950 in the San Juan Park subdivision, but it has been considerably enhanced over the years, Watkins said, and makes particularly good use of color. The home has been renovated five times.
The Sharpe home is much newer, having been built in 1990, then was almost completely rebuilt in 2015. It features a view of the San Juan Country Club golf course, a pottery room and rock columns. A stream cuts through the property, which also features sandstone hogbacks.
“We try to get different styles because that’s what people want to see,” Watkins said. “We try to find different homes in different areas of town.”
Hooper said the Vaughn home is an example of a successful cold call.
“We just knocked on her door,” she said. “We asked if we could see the house, and we got a good feeling about it.”
The home was built at the end of a cul-de-sac in 2006 and is highlighted by a formal library, a cinema room and a downstairs classroom. The entrance is marked by distinctive 8-foot Brazilian mahogany doors, and cherry, walnut and mahogany woods are used liberally throughout the home.
The final home on the on the tour, the Ferguson home, was also shown in 2013 and proved to be so popular that organizers asked if they could include it again. The home was completed in 2009 and sits on two and a half acres, offering views of Angel Peak, the Shiprock pinnacle and the La Plata Mountains. It boasts a six-car garage, a sunroom and an enormous pantry. There is also a 5,512-foot lookout tower on the northwest portion of the property.
“We try not to repeat, but Mr. Ferguson, his house is spectacular, and he is such a neat guy,” Hooper said. “He just wanted to participate again.”
Hooper said the pitch she employs with home owners when trying to convince them to allow their houses to be used on the tour is a simple one.
“I just tell them who I am and what we do, and ask if they’re familiar with the Parade of Homes,” she said. “And they usually know about it.”
She said the tour is attractive to people who enjoy looking at other people’s homes to develop decorating ideas. Others just take the tour out of curiosity, she said.
The tour features a relaxed format. Visitors drive to each of the homes and are free to linger for as long as they like during the four-hour event. A refreshments table will be offered at the Ferguson home.
In the past, money raised from the event has gone to purchase backpacks for school kids that were distributed through Navajo Ministries. Another year, Thanksgiving meal baskets were put together for Habitat for Humanity families.
The event has generated as much as $3,000 in the past for the local entities it benefits, and that is the feature of the event that Watkins finds most rewarding.
“The places that we help with the funds we raise from this is a motivator for me,” she said.
Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.
If you go
What: The Parade of Homes
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10
Where: Four homes located throughout Farmington
Tickets: $10 at all Citizen's Banks locations, all Four Corners Community Bank locations, ImageNet Consulting and the Dusty Attic, and at the door of each home
For more information: Call 505-860-0511 or 505-320-5793