The 28th annual Parade of Homes and Remodeling Tour is a unique opportunity to take a close look at some spectacular Missoula homes. Taking place Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Sept. 17, the event returns to its original format celebrated for more than 25 years.

“The Parade’s evolved," said Wade Hoyt, founder and owner of Hoyt Homes, who is in his 16th year of working with the Parade and 25th year in business. "When (the Parade) started 28 years ago, it was a group of builders and realtors who got together trying to get their products out there, and most of the homes were fairly simple. Over the years it’s evolved into projects for sale, custom homes, spec homes and remodels.”

Organized by the Missoula Building Industry Association, the tour features some of the most beautiful living arrangements in Missoula. Centered on remodeling and design, the Parade is a hallmark event for the building industry and a rare opportunity for the public to view some amazing homes created by local businesses or talk to the builders, designers and subcontractors.

“We just wanted to expose everyone’s building products to the community, get people excited about different ideas for their homes and to let them see the different things that can be done — so that people get more excited about building in the Missoula community,” said Gene Mostad of Mostad Construction, and who has also been involved with the Parade since its founding.

The homes on the tour range from the minuscule to the majestic, with both massive customized luxury homes and affordable remodels. In total, this year’s tour features eight homes within the Missoula area. The builders involved for 2017 are Brunner Homes & Construction, Butler Creek Development, Clearwater Builders of Montana, Edgell Building, Hoyt Homes, Mostad Construction, Saddle Mountain Construction and Straightedge Construction.

Shelley Howard Martin, long-time Parade of Homes committee member and Hoyt Homes project manager, said, “We’ve got water-side homes, golf community homes, retirement and single level homes, tiny homes; we have a lot of variation in the styles of homes the public is going to see.”

New this year is the integration of the Parade Craze mobile phone app. This easily downloadable app allows smartphone users to purchase tickets, get directions, check out floorplans and descriptions, view photos, review details about each builder and even leave comments. The app can be downloaded in advance for a sneak peek at what each home on the tour has to offer. Simply search for "MBIA Parade of Homes and Remodeling Tour" once you’ve downloaded the Parade Craze app.

In addition to Parade Craze, the information-packed Parade of Homes magazine will be available on the tour as well. This printed event booklet details each home on the tour and serves as an event guide from home to home.

General admission tickets are $10, and can be purchased through the app or upon initial arrival at any of the homes on the tour. The tour is self-guided, and attendees can view the homes in any order they choose.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, directly preceding the event, a special VIP night and awards banquet is scheduled. The VIP experience begins with a seat on a bus tour of four of the eight homes, fortified with snacks and drinks, and culminates at the awards banquet dinner where the Craftsmanship Award will be presented. Tickets to the VIP Bus Tour and Awards Dinner are $55 for this special night of chauffeured wining and dining, and must be purchased directly through the MBIA office at 1840 South Ave. W. These tickets are also good for the rest of the event weekend.

The Craftsmanship award is the only award that is presented beforehand and is not voted upon by the public. All of the other awards, from best kitchen to best decor and the popular “People’s Choice” award, will be given out based upon public voting. The back of each attendee’s ticket features a ballot for an array of categories. The remaining awards will be publicized after the event.

“I think the Parade helps bring up the quality level of the housing in Missoula because there’s a certain amount of competition when you’re showing houses like that," Mostad said. "If you don’t put your best foot forward when you’re entering a house in the Parade it’s going to show and people are going to notice, so you have to be real careful that you know what you’re doing and that you’re going to be able to live up to the competition, otherwise it’s going to be obvious you still have some work to do."

Working with the MBIA to throw this annual event are a number of sponsors: First Security Bank and BMC West are the MBIA Gold Key sponsors. MBIA Silver Key sponsors are Direct Source, First Interstate Bank, Northwestern Energy and The Missoulian. MBIA Bronze Key sponsors are Culligan, Insured Titles, Western Montana Lighting, Missoula Federal Credit Union, Territorial Landworks, First American Title and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Montana Properties.

For more information please visit the MBIA website at buildmissoula.com, or check out the Facebook page for Parade of Homes Missoula.

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