Welcome to Homearama

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, October 16, 2014

The word is getting out about North Suffolk.

As the Waterfront at Parkside, located adjacent to Suffolk’s Bennett’s Creek Park, prepares to host the city’s second Homearama event in three years, it’s clear that folks have begun to catch on to the secret that Suffolk is a great place to live.

The Tidewater Builders Association hosts the annual showcase of luxury homes as a way to spotlight not just the new homes that are open for visitors during the event, but also to help show off some of the latest trends in home construction and décor. For many years, the event was held in upscale developments in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, and Suffolk remained a place that most people in South Hampton Roads considered a bridge (or tunnel) too far. But as traffic and urban sprawl in those cities has grown, Suffolk has become an attractive alternative for people looking to settle somewhere away from the hurried pace, yet close enough to take advantage of the cultural, retail and other opportunities available in the core of Hampton Roads.

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With accessible roads, a more easygoing pace of life and a growing base of amenities, Suffolk — and especially North Suffolk — is suddenly right at the heart of it all. The fact that the TBA has chosen to bring Homearama back to the city again this year is proof that Suffolk is no longer Tidewater’s ignored stepchild. And city officials have done well to promote the city as a perfect location for the showcase event.

But Homearama isn’t just a chance for people outside of Suffolk to come and see the city. It’s also a chance for Suffolk residents to see their own city in a new light and an opportunity for them to get a look at some of the best ideas in homebuilding.

This year’s event kicks off at noon today and runs Friday through Monday for three consecutive weekends. In a new twist this year, TBA has set different themes for each of the weekends.

The first, “Suffolk Harvest,” will highlight many of the best things the city has to offer. The band Hotcakes will provide entertainment at the park next door on Friday at 6 p.m., and hayrides will take attendees from Homearama to the park and back. There will be a fall festival at the park Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Peanut City Cloggers will perform, and a farmers’ market will be held in the Suffolk tent. Finally, the popular Flavor of Suffolk event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20.

Oct. 24-27 is the Beer, Bratwurst and Boats weekend. The daily beer tastings from 4 to 7 p.m. are an obvious feature. The Colonial Seaport Foundation will bring the region’s past to life with its colonial maritime history display and re-enactors. Scallywag School will teach young guests the art of knot-tying, modern-day power boats will be on display and hearty German fare will be offered in the concessions.

The final weekend, Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, is the Salute to the Military weekend. All active-duty, retired and reserve personnel will receive buy one, get one free admission all weekend. Local and national veterans’ support organizations and ROTC students will be on hand, as well as high school marching bands and jump demonstrations by Skydive Suffolk.

Whether you’re a Suffolk native, new to the city or just interested in learning what it has to offer, this Homearama event will have something to offer.