Anatomy of a Central Gardens Home Tour 2019

Last week’s Central Gardens Association Home Tour, which took place on Sunday, September 8, was an overwhelming success. Established in 1976, this annual event attracts attendees from all over Memphis and the Mid-South to tour a selection of our historic homes and has remained Central Gardens Association’s main fundraising event for 43 years.

Central Gardens Home Tour and CGA has evolved each year, with additions and deletions added by the current chair and his or her committee. In fact, the planning for the 44th Annual Home Tour has already begun not even a full week after the previous tour has ended.

Home Tour is a 12 month committee that starts right after the current home tour ends, the primary activity is finding houses for next year’s tour, and securing chairs for the numerous committees (17 in fact) that make the tour happen.

Committees range from the marketing end of publicity and advertising, to the operational end that includes docents, cashiers, set up/take down, entertainment, and of course ticket sales – pre, retail and during the tour. And, don’t forget securing home tour sponsors and advertisers. Without this financial support from our community, the tour could not happen. 

In total, we have more than 200 volunteers, including volunteers who place signs and posters around the neighborhood & city, to committee members who sell tickets at Kroger prior to the event. Throughout tour day, you will see volunteers wearing biker, cashier, docent or hospitality hats to make the tour a fun event.

Home Tour participation extends beyond the neighborhood. This year’s partnerships included the artists who provided art for the Artists’ Market and Boy Scout Troop 34 who sold water and cold drinks around the tour route. The Soulsville Gospel Choir, Opera Memphis, and Elaine Vining, harpist, provided entertainment throughout the day. Antique Car Owners donated their cars, Memphis Food Truck Alliance provided cold beverages and hot food. And, no Home Tour is complete without the florists who provide gorgeous floral decor at each of the tour sites. 

The list goes on, but the tour brings Central Gardens together organizing, implementing, and celebrating after the event. Without the volunteers, homeowners, advertisers, sponsors, community in-kind contributions, this event couldn’t happen.

Thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed the tour, as well as the myriad of volunteers who made this event happen and continue to make it happen year after year.


CGA Board of Directors – Everyone works on Tour Day – 27

Home Tour Committee – 30

Docents – 94

Cashiers – 12

Bikers – 4

Sign Placement – 6

Photographer - 1

Set-Up/Take Down – 4

Hospitality – 6

Artists' Market – 12

Entertainment – 20

Scouts – 12

Homeowners – 11

Total  239