GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- There are still a few more weeks before spring officially arrives, but the annual West Michigan Home and Garden Show kicks off Thursday to get people in the mood early.
"Everyone walks into DeVos place and it is just fantastic. All the indoor gardens all the color smell of the flowers, it is just fantastic," said Andrew Alt, publicist for ShowSpan Inc.
The event, in its 34th year, is always a big hit for homeowners looking to make indoor and outdoor improvements around the house. However, Alt says the show appeals to the public at large.
"I think certainly home owners are going to benefit. It is the one time of year where homeowners can come in and meet with over 300 different local businesses about all aspects of their home and landscapes in one place," he said. "They don't have to drive all over town. They don't have to make a bunch of phone calls. They can actually talk to people right at the show. It saves a lot of time and a lot of energy."
The show has more than a dozen indoor gardens, indoor landscapes and vendors offering information on the latest products and techniques for home improvement. The Home and Garden Show also offers seminars, demonstrations and other activities all weekend.
"We have a stage that is staffed by experts from Frederik Meijer Gardens and other places in town. There are all kinds of gardening techniques they can learn. The newest trends in flowers for the year, perennials for the year, all that sort of thing," said Alt. "The thing that we are real proud of in this show is we have 350 exhibitors. Over 300 of them are local businesses. They are people that live in our community that are interested in doing a good job for the people in our community. So it is a great way to support local business."
The show times are Thursday, February 28th at 3 pm - 9:00pm; Friday, March 1st at Noon - 9:00pm; Saturday, March 2nd at 10 am - 9:00pm and Sunday, March 3rd 11 am - 6pm. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $4 for children (6-14) and children 5 and under get in free.
Following is a guide to just some of the show's special features and highlights, as provided by Showspan:
HGTV Star Cari Cucksey - Michigan native Cari Cucksey hosts the HGTV hit show Cash & Cari. When she's not on TV, Cucksey is an "Antiques Matchmaker" who gives dusty relics a new lease on life -- she runs RePurpose Estate Services and operates The RePurpose Shop out of Westland Michigan. Come hear her story on the Home Stage, meet her in person, and be inspired to turn that old piece of furniture from your basement into a new treasure.
Joe Lamp'l - Growing a Greener World - Widely known as "Joe Gardener," Lamp'l is one of the country's most trusted authorities on gardening and sustainability. He is the host and producer of Public Television's Growing a Greener World, where his passion for living a more eco-friendly life is evident to his nationwide audience. Join Joe on the Garden Stage to learn about the latest trends in sustainable living, mixed with traditional gardening know-how! Joe Lamp'l is presented by Farm Bureau Insurance.
Keeping It Local - We're proud that over 300 of our exhibitors are local businesspeople and companies who care about and support our community, and who provide outsanding service to their customers. Come meet them, and feel good knowing they'll be around to take care of you after the Show is over. The Show is also a proud member of Local First.
Garden and Art Market - A show within the Show!Come browse the most colorful booths in the show, full of unique and inspired garden accessories, plants, decor, art, food and gifts from the area's best artists and finest local nurseries and garden shops. It's shopping at its best.
A Garden For Joy - The AGRLP Feature Garden - Led this year by Mike Van Duine of Wabeke Lawn Service, the Association of Grand Rapids Landscape Professionals again creates a fantastic centerpiece for the show! This year's Feature Garden is a tribute to Mike's mother, and is an amazing retreat for families, including an infinity edge pool, a lifesize checkerboard, playscape area, and restful fire pit conversation area for when the sun goes down. Get inspired to create your own family retreat!
Saturday is Family Day - The whole family can get involved in activites from cooking and building to bird watching and fairy gardens. Children get in free until noon, and the morning is jam-packed with activitities that will entertain kids so Mom and Dad can spend more time with all the experts they need for their home and garden projects.
Pancake Breakfast - On Saturday, from 9am - 11am, kick off Family Day with all you can eat pancakes, sausage, orange drink and coffee. Cost is just $5, and proceeds benefit The Home Builders Association Foundation. The HBA Foundation builds hope and strengthens community by providing special needs housing for disabled individuals, and granting scholarships to college students in the building-related industries. (Note: the show opens at 10am).
Standard Kitchens Cooking Stage - GREAT GRAINS! - Our popular chef Angus Campbell, from GRCC's Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, is presenting delicious foods made with high-fiber and nutritionally-rich grains. Whole grains are loaded with vitamins and minerals and may help fight heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Plus, they taste delicious! This year's menu includes Toasted Barley Pilaf, Beluga Lentil Salad, Wild Mushroom and Quinoa Salad, and Millet Crunch.
Over a Dozen Indoor Gardens - Spring is definitely in the air at DeVos Place! In addition to the inspiring Feature Garden by the AGRLP, you'll find more magnificent indoor landscapes at every turn. Our area's premier landscapers are here to show off their best work, and the results will wow you. Whether you have acres for your own landscaping, or just a window box to work with, you're sure to pick up plenty of ideas to take home.
Garden Stage - The Garden Stage is packed with back-to-back seminars starting every half hour all weekend long! Presented by the area's leaders in gardening, landscaping, soil and tree care, and more, a visit to the garden stage is an opportunity to learn everything you need to know, in one place. Speakers are from Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Michigan Nursery & Landscape Assocation and MSU Extension Horticulture Educators.
Smart Gardening - MSU Extension horticulture educators will be presenting "smart gardening" techniques in a variety of free seminars on the Garden Stage, as well as being onsite throughout the show to talk with visitors in their Smart Garden. Come prepared with all of your toughest questions and stop by their garden, by the Garden Stage, for their expert assistance.
StandardFlower Show - Sponsored by District IV of the Michigan Garden Clubs. The theme of this year's show is ""Follow the Yellow Brick Road." Come enjoy stunning entries in the horticulture and design competitions, located at the back of the Grand Gallery.
HBA Pro Pavilion - The place to go for all your building and remodeling needs is the Pro Pavilion! "Start Here" to connect with expert members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids, who are committed to providing quality homes, buildings, renovations, products and services for the entire region through adherence to ethical practices, community involvement, advocacy, and education.
Home Stage - This is the stage to head for if you want new ways to make your home as beautiful and comfortable as it can be! Everyone's favorite florist J Schwanke is back for Fun With Flowers and J. Great interior design ideas from Leslie Hart-Davidson Design, tips to get your home energy effiecient from the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and much more!
MadDog and Merrill, known nationwide as The Grilling Buddies, presented by DTE Energy. Their fun-filled seminars will make anyone, pro or novice, a better griller. The duo has been featured on ESPN and The Travel Channel. Their demos include everything from vegetables to roasts to desserts to appetizers, proving their motto, "There's nothing you can't cook on a grill!"
Make a Rain Barrel - Using rain barrels is an effective and easy strategy for conserving water, managing community storm water issues, and improving water quality. The West Michigan Environmental Action Council provides low-cost rain barrels to the region as a means of addressing water conservation and pollution issues in West Michigan. WMEAC will have walk-up workshops onsite where you can make your own rain barrel for a minimal cost and take it home with you!
· Full year subscriptions to Better Homes & Gardens Magazine included with your online ticket Purchase your tickets to the Show at www.GRHomeShow.com. Discounted tickets are available at all participating area Home Depot locations. Discount weekday adult admission coupons are available online at www.GRHomeShow.com