The Parade of Homes | The Nuts and Bolts
One by one, over 30,000 people shuffle through a grand desert home. Little do they know the hours spent agonizing over the stunning mural painted on the walls of a child’s playroom, with designers and artists working together to get the colors just right. Where visitors now walk through the grand kitchen, men in pairs of dusty boots followed the same path days before, wiping sweat from their brow as they unloaded boxes of stunning cabinetry. They admire the elaborate lanterns hanging from vaulted ceilings, blissfully unaware of the countless conversations between the builder and the homeowner to work out every final detail.
“If you drive by a parade home the night before a home inspection, you may see 50 contractors working together,” Mari Krashowetz, Executive Officer for the Southern Utah Home Builders Association (SUHBA), says. “And they’re working together on top of each other, but there’s a sense of urgency to get the home done and focus on showing the best craftsmanship for our area.”
This is the St. George Area Parade of Homes, an event that’s been put on by SUHBA every year since 1991. And for Mari, it’s been a part of her life for the last 16 years, now serving as the Executive Officer.
Mari describes the parade homes as works of art. If you’ve ever crossed the threshold of one, you’d understand why.
Each craftsman uses top-notch products to build their home. Some import wood and building materials from around the world, and each of the homes has it’s own unique design and story built into it. One stand out parade home in years past featured daunting, bent steel beams that encompassed the ceiling from one side of the house to the other, splitting through walls and rooms to create a synergy between all spaces of the home.
“The Parade of Homes is an opportunity to demonstrate the best in Southern Utah building,” Mari says. “We have people from all around the country that have gone to the parade of homes where they live, and they always say that the St. George Area goes above and beyond what they’ve seen around the country.”
The St. George Area Parade of Homes features elite home builders in the Southern Utah area. The requirements to get into the parade are stringent.
“The builders in our community have to work very hard to obtain a position,” Mari remarks. “They participate in community service projects, have to attend education workshops, recruit members, and attend luncheons. So it’s really helping them in their profession as well as the Southern Utah community.”
The builders involved in SUHBA are givers, Mari explains. The builders are dedicated to the Southern Utah community and making the area a better place, especially for those who may need a little help. They’ve given their time and resources to helping build projects that benefit the whole community. Parade builders helped construct and expand the Dr.’s Volunteer Clinic that provides needed medical service to those who may not have the means for insurance or regular medical care. They volunteered to help during the renovation of the Switchpoint shelter where homeless can come to receive food, job training, supplies, and a warm bed for a few nights.
“We have many volunteers that work really hard,” Mari says. “When the Southern Utah Home Builders Association is working on a community project, parade builders are the first to step up.”
In a true act of selfless service, Mari has witnessed some builders volunteer their time to help other parade builders get their parade homes completed in time. She explains that every builder feels a responsibility to make sure that this event is always successful from year to year, even when that means helping a competitor.
The St. George Area Parade of Homes has huge impact for jobs and the economy for Southern Utah. It provides jobs for builders and subcontractors. It provides everyone involved the opportunity to show off their best work. Hotels are booked out for days on end. Overall, it brings millions into the St. George area economy every year, kicks off the home buying season, and benefits tens of thousands in the Southern Utah community.