RIDGEFIELD — Eager and curious homeowners and guests made their way to a development near Washington State University Vancouver on Friday to get a first glimpse of the 40th annual NW Natural Parade of Homes on the opening day of the event.
The Parade of Homes is designed to showcase the products of area builders and contractors, as well as provide design inspiration for people looking to update their homes.
The show is an “opportunity to promote what’s available in new home products,” said Avaly Scarpelli, executive director of the Building Industry Association of Clark County. This includes not only the homes themselves, but the materials, decor, outdoor living spaces and other home accents on display, she said.
Each of the five houses on display at the Parade of Homes is staffed by either a builder, interior designer or realtor to answer questions about the home. “Paint colors are always a popular inquiry,” Scarpelli said.
Three of the homes on display this year were built by Cascade West Development. One was built by Quail Homes and the final house was built by Generation Homes Northwest. The homes ranged in size from 2,814 square feet to 4,104 square feet.
Scarpelli said that all five homes on display this year were already sold. The clients already wanted the lots on which they are built, and signed contracts with the builders allowing the homes to be shown in the Parade of Homes.
According to Scarpelli, this is not always the case. In previous years, builders have built a “spec home” to showcase, with the goal of selling it either before, during or after the Parade of Homes.
The Parade of Homes is located in The Meadows at Whipple Creek development in Ridgefield. The event entrance is off of NE 29th Avenue near Mt. Vista.
Scarpelli said that the location was chosen for its “availability, close access to I-5, the great schools that are here in Ridgefield (and) the beauty of the subdivision.” Some attendees come every year, and most are from Clark County. However, Scarpelli estimated that 10 to 15 percent of guests come from Portland or because of “general tourism in the area.”
“We just hope that people come out and see the show (and) support the local homebuilding industry,” Scarpelli said.
Ron Wagner, a sales and design employee of Cascade West Development, said that his company has participated in the last 10 Parade of Homes events. “It’s something we look forward to,” he said.
Wagner noted that “people love the opportunity” to come and see homes on display to get ideas for new homes or ideas to integrate into their current homes.
All the homes are different, Wagner said, and each of those built by Cascade West Development served a different customer type. These ranged from a retired couple seeking to downsize to a family moving to the area for a job opportunity and looking for a good place to raise their family.
“Each house has its own attributes,” Wagner said.
Attendees of the event came not only to enjoy the examples of home design but to also get ideas for new homes.
Camas resident Jenny Rementeria is in the process of building two homes, and was “just coming for ideas.” She said that the current Parade of Homes was the first she has attended in several years, and that the show was a good experience.
Local residents Charlie and VanMeter Hord also were at the show for home ideas. “I go to all the Parade of Homes, I go to the Clark County Fair” and the Street of Dreams in Portland, Charlie Horn said. “I go to all those to get ideas.”
In addition to the homes on display, the Parade of Homes also hosted various building supply, decor and furnishing vendors to allow guests to meet with representatives of some of the companies featured in the shows.
The Parade of Homes runs from Sept. 8-24. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are available either online or at the entrance to the Parade of Homes. Pre-ordered tickets are $10 plus fees, and tickets at the door cost $12.
For more information about the NW Natural Parade of Homes, visit clarkcountyparadeofhomes.com.
Also, more information can be found in this previous ClarkCountyToday.com story.