Over 900 people flocked to Scout Hall Saturday afternoon, March 7 to get their exclusive Gulfport 15th Annual Pink Flamingo Home Tour guides and bright pink wrist bands allowing them access to 12 beautiful homes throughout the town. This marked the largest fundraising event to date for Gulfport Merchants Chamber.
From its inception 15 years ago, the Pink Flamingo Tour of Homes has become an annual ritual that takes place the first Saturday in March. Homes are chosen based on a variety of features, whether they are very small, very large, very colorful, absolutely gorgeous, original, newly renovated, or just weird – the way Gulfport was intended to be.
The tour is organized to be walkable for the adventurous viewers, but free trolleys and vans were provided for those who appreciate a little more comfort.
Each year the home tour spotlights a different part of town. This year, the tour boundaries were 50th Street South, Beach Boulevard, 31st Avenue South and Gulfport Boulevard.
This year’s tour highlighted three houses in the “Roebuck Park” because of the houses built there by Alvah Roebuck of Sears, Roebuck and Co. fame.
“Early Sears catalogs billed themselves as the ‘Cheapest Supply House on Earth’ or ‘the Book of Bargains,’ and featured a mind-boggling array of products,” according to History.com. “Among the catalog giant’s astounding range of offerings were house kits, which the company began marketing in 1908. From 1908 to 1940, Sears sold between 70,000 to 75,000 homes.”
Roebuck was no stranger to these “kit homes,” and there are 14 homes in “Roebuck Park” built during this timeframe.