Annual event is a sure sign of spring



Warmer weather and melting snow have many thinking about gardens and home improvements.

Tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers scattered throughout the Eastwood Expo Center reinforced that thinking for visitors to the Nature Stone Mahoning Valley Home and Garden Show Saturday.

“We’re trying to have people feel a breath of spring,” said Dominic Baragona, event promoter.

Windows, insulation, basement waterproofing, pet-containment systems, landscaping and sunrooms are just some of the offerings from the 120 exhibitors at the three-day event.

“People are in full-tilt mode to get the improvements and everything lined up for their home,” Baragona said. “They wait for this show to actually do that.”

Now is the time to lock in prices, said Merv Hollander, president of Weather Tite Windows, Liberty.

The rising cost of oil is going to eventually increase the cost of vinyl products, such as windows and siding, because vinyl is oil-based, he said.

Brian Levelle of Liberty, who attended the garden show with his wife and daughter, said, “We’re getting some ideas for some improvements we can make. We got some ideas for our patio.”

His daughter, Samantha, 8, liked the playground equipment on display. And she thought the hot tub looked like fun.

“We’re very anxious for spring,” said Brenda Levelle, “It’s nice to see the spring flowers out.”

Not all offerings were for the exterior of a home, however.

Ronda Howard of Salem showed samples of the faux finishing and decorative painting techniques she offers to commercial and residential clients.

“I had a house that had swirls on the wall and I didn’t like it, so I started playing around,” she said. “And then I started taking professional classes.”

She can decorate half a wall, one wall, a whole room or a whole house.

Also included in the show were the Valley Classics chefs cooking on stage, a presentation by Mr. Food, who also signed copies of his cookbook, and Dave Dangerfield of Dangerfield Auctions, conducting free appraisals of antiques and collectibles.

Dorothy Hall of Conneautville, Pa., enjoys finding new ideas for her yard and cooking at the event. This year, she also wanted to see Mr. Food.

“I picked up a cookbook,” she said.

Her 10-year-old granddaughter, Jillian Williams of Meadville, Pa., liked the flowers, saying they made her think of spring.

The home and garden show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Dave Dangerfield will conduct free appraisals of antiques and collectibles from 2 to 4 p.m.

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