Balboa Island tour Sunday will showcase 6 decorated homes and fire station

The Balboa Island Improvement Assn. will present its 21st annual Balboa Island Holiday Home Walking Tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, giving the public a chance to view a variety of decorated houses and, for the first time, Newport Beach Fire Station No. 4, a Balboa Island fixture at the corner of Marine and Park avenues.

The six homes on the tour include the residence of Susie and Rudy Baron at 323 E. Bay Front on Little Balboa Island.


The Barons have owned the 1937 cottage for 50 years and raised their three children there.

"It's a little Christmas house," Susie Baron said as she stood before a Christmas tree embellished with ornaments, bows and lighting.


Gail Vasterling, who has lived on Balboa Island for 33 years and handles publicity for the tour, said she and the tour committee begin asking homeowners toward the end of December if they're interested in showcasing their dwellings for the next year's tour.

Baron said it's special for her to feature her holiday treasures, which include a Santa Claus collection, handmade seashell trees, festive paintings by local artist Timree Gold and a handpainted nativity she found in Morelia, Mexico.

The Barons bought their three-bedroom cottage from its original owners, who owned and operated orange groves and rented the house during summers to actors Ray Milland and Dorothy Lamour.

The holiday home tour is the major annual fundraising event for the Balboa Island Improvement Assn., which funds the holiday decorations on Marine Avenue and yearly parades, Vasterling said.

Tour tickets may be purchased for $35 at Balboa Island stores Island Home, Persimmon Tree, Toss and Etc. Etc. Etc., all on Marine Avenue, or online at


What: Balboa Island Holiday Home Walking Tour

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, departing from Balboa Island Museum, 331 Marine Ave.

Where: Seven stops

Admission: $35

Tickets and information: (714) 296-6196,

Twitter: @KathleenLuppi