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East County Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 10 years ago

Homes Sweet Homes

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Download a complete listing of this year's feature homes here.

Click here for exclusive photos from the Realtors preview event.

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Southwest Florida homebuilders will showcase their finest model homes during the annual Parade of Homes through March 7.

The tour, hosted by the Home Builders Association Manatee-Sarasota, will feature more than 30 homes in Sarasota and Manatee counties, including houses in East County neighborhoods such as the Cascades, The Concession and Lakewood Ranch.

Models will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday.

“Showcasing these models and developments will provide anyone taking a tour of this year’s (Parade of Homes) a good sense of the Southwest Florida lifestyle,” said Alan Anderson, executive vice president of the Homebuilders Association. “The HBA is proud to present this event each year on behalf of our members, and we believe that anyone having the opportunity to spend some time in these models will have a most enjoyable experience.”

Anderson also noted that many of the homes demonstrate the latest designs and green technologies.

The organization also has videos and pictures of homes being featured in the parade online on its Web site,

“People can get a feel for the homes by looking online before they go out,” said Beverly Smock, deputy executive vice president of the HBA.

The HBA kicked off events this year with a special preview event for Realtors Feb. 18 on Lakewood Ranch Main Street. And on Feb. 20, the first day of the parade, organizers launched the event with a first-time ever public kickoff event at The Polo Grill & Bar on Lakewood Ranch Main Street, where tabletop exhibitors offered their services and information to the public. LWR Communities also sponsored bus tours, which carried parade-goers from Lakewood Ranch Main Street through to each of the participating model homes in Lakewood Ranch.

Additionally for opening day, Lakewood Ranch builders partnered with local businesses to offer special events, such as food samplings and golf demonstrations, at their model homes.

“Parade of Homes is a great event,” said Candice McElyea, public relations and marketing manager for Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. “It kind of highlights all of our wonderful builders and gives them an opportunity to shine.”

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

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