The 58th annual Saint Nicholas Home Tour — said to be the oldest home tour west of the Mississippi — will be held Sunday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“People are really excited about it coming back and working on it and we’ve had a wonderful response from the community and the parish,” said Sandi May, tour coordinator. “They missed it.”
All Souls has headed up the tour since 1951, but handed last year’s event off to local Cordelia Mendoza, who put it on to benefit Best Friends Animal Society. In May, Mendoza turned the event back over to the church, which accepted it with open arms.
“I think it took that year to kind of energize folks and bring them back and realize we could do things a little bit differently,” May said. “People were volunteering and wanted to come back and help.”
The biggest change to this year’s event is the redesigned marketplace. Previously made up of only arts and crafts, the marketplace, held inside the church from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature a variety of arts and vendors, and host tea time from 1 to 4 p.m.
“Our marketplace is going to be patterned more like a market rather than what we called Christmas arts for years and years,” May said. “There will be a mixture of vendors and handmade crafts.”
The highlight of the marketplace is the church mice, the annual collectible tradition that has been part of the home tour since the 1970s. A couple hundred of the handmade felt mice will be for sale, and vintage mice from previous years will also be on display.
“Every year we come out with a new edition and we have our micemakers who make them all by hand,” May said. “Usually, that is what everybody lines up and grabs first.”
The featured walking tour will spotlight four distinct Point Loma homes, ranging from modern to Spanish Colonial Revival. A special home on this year’s tour is the La Playa residence of famed local western singer Frankie Laine.
“It is filled with memorabilia and there are framed gold records and paintings that Frankie Laine and his wife painted,” May said. “There are photographs and memorabilia everywhere.”
Dubbed the “Prince of Point Loma,” Laine cranked out hits that included “Rawhide” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” His house rests on a hillside above La Playa and has views of both downtown and the San Diego Bay.
Other homes on the tour include a modern home by architect Homer Delawie, the historically-designated Casa Marrero built in 1927, and the Wertz home built into a canyon near Loma Portal Elementary School. Each of the homes will have a speaker or live music, and some of the homes will have baked buns and St. Nicholas cookies.
“We don’t ever tell where they are. People have to go to all the houses and figure out what it is,” May said.
This year’s home tour benefits the Peninsula Shepherd Center housed at All Souls. May said the center provides shopping trips, luncheons and other services for local seniors.
“Many people in the area love the home tour and it truly is a tradition here in Point Loma,” May said. “People really look forward to it starting off their holiday season.”
Tickets for the Saint Nicholas Home Tour our are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the tour, and can be purchased at the following locatiions: All Souls Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd.; Cottage Antiques, 4873 Newport Ave.; or Walter Andersen Nursery, 3642 Enterprise St.
For more information, visit www.all-soulshometour.org or call (619) 223-6394.