For a decade, homeowners have opened their historic homes to visitors wanting a peek inside the inner sanctums of Hyde Park.
And they'll do so again come Saturday during the annual Historic Hyde Park Home Tour. But this year the community's neighborhood association will strive to do more than showcase the area's architectural heritage.
In celebration of its 10th birthday, organizers have added a few extra touches to the tour.
Local restaurants, including Bella's Italian Cafe, Datz and Buddy Brew Coffee, will serve samples at some of the homes. Vintage cars from the '20s and '30s will be on display outside homes along the tour route, commemorating the community's birth. Car owners will be dressed in vintage attire.
Participants will stop in Berns Park to snack on Blue Bell ice cream. (Past tours helped raised money for the park, said home tour co-chairwoman Marylou Bailey.)
And houses featured in previous tours, about 80 in all, will be honored with yard flags.
"It's going to be better than ever," Bailey said.
The tour will showcase an extensive home garden and eight houses in a variety of architectural styles. Booklets showcase the owners' stories. One owner, Bailey says, decorated her house with imported plants from Tallahassee and from her family's roots in Virginia. Another thinks he has an unusual houseguest: a ghost.
Developed early in the 20th century, Hyde Park is one of the most "intact bungalow residential communities" in the United States, tour organizers say.
Funds raised from the tour and a patron's party, held earlier this month, will be used for improvement projects in the neighborhood, including an effort to beautify entrances to the Hyde Park community.
Sharon Tubbs can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3394.