The last time I was involved with the Lakewood Home Festival was in 1988. I was 6, and I hated it with all of my heart. Our house was one of the those featured in the inaugural tour, meaning that for this winter weekend of 1988, the 12th year of the tour (yes, it started in 1976), I had to stay at my grandmother’s. Our house was in a state of cleanliness and order that not even M Stewart herself could find something to gripe about. At such an age of destruction and terror, I threatened that harmonious order, and was thus deported. However, what all of this indicates is that my mom was really worried about the appearance of our home, and rightfully so, as the Lakewood Home Festival is a tradition that embodies and represents the spirit and attitude of our community. It was, and still is, important.
As I mentioned above, the festival originated in 1976 by the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA (LECPTA) with the idea to show 5 Lakewood homes as a fundraiser for new playground equipment at Lakewood elementary. The fundraiser has not only endured for 34 years, but has since allocated the funds raised to each of the various Lakewood public schools, including JL Long and my own beloved Alma mater, Woodrow Wilson (known to my crew as Hoodrow). The Home Festival selects unique homes throughout the area, representing the various Lakewood architectural styles. This year, the tour is comprised of two Mediterranean style homes, two Tudor structures, a modern build restructured from the 1950’s and a cottage no different than something you would find in the great Texas hill country.
The 34th annual Festival kick-off is this Friday, November 12th, beginning with the Candlelight Tour from 5:00-7:30 pm, featuring a 7th home nestled on Tokalon (only available for viewing on Friday night), followed by the Viva Las Lakewood Casino and Auction Party at Lakewood Country Club. The homes will also be featured on Saturday and Sunday, so go grab your tickets for each portion of the event at the Lakewood Home Festival site. I’m absolutely partaking this year, and with full certainty that after 22 years, and no trip to Grandma’s, I’ll love not only the featured homes, but the community involvement to help keep my hood and my home, Lakewood, alive.