Arts & Entertainment

Home & Garden Show kicks off Feb. 19 at TRAC in Pasco

Need better solutions for storage? Do your appliances need an upgrade? Or does your landscaping need some improvement?

Head for the 22nd annual 2010 Regional Home & Garden Show where you'll find ideas, contractors to do the work and lots of do-it-yourself projects.

The show -- presented by the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities -- runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 19, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 20 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at TRAC in Pasco.

With about 200 exhibitors offering materials and products for outside, inside and all around the home, it's one of the largest home and garden shows in the state, said Renee Dahlgren. She's the director of government affairs and communications and Built Green Program director for the Home Builders.

"Anyone who's looking at doing something to their home or garden from building to remodeling to doing an energy efficiency upgrade will find lots of ideas. And there are lots of landscaping ideas too," she said. "And if you call an apartment or condo home, there're lots for you too, even if your outside space is nonexistent or limited."

Many exhibitors have attended the show for years, but there always are a smattering of new exhibits on landscaping and construction. And while the exhibitors remain largely the same, their products and services are updated regularly.

"You don't need to go to Seattle to see the new trends. We have them," Dahlgren said.

Building green remains at the top of everyone's list, especially with things like energy efficiency tax credits and the local utilities' incentives to reduce energy use, she said.

It's a popular show that draws nearly 12,000 people. Saturday afternoon is busiest, with the best times to talk to the exhibitors in the mornings soon after opening and the evenings just before closing.

"A lot of people will walk through the show and note which vendors they want to talk to and then come back and talk just to them another day," Dahlgren said. "Remember, your ticket is good all weekend, so you can leave and come back as many times as you want."

There will be food vendors and a Kidstruction Zone on the arena side with activities for children.

The arena makes the Tri-City show unique. Its dirt floor allows landscaping, pool and spa companies to really show their skills.

"Not many shows get to have fully landscaped gardens with pools, waterfalls and nearly full-size trees," Dahlgren said.

Admission is $6 for adults, with children 12 and under free. Take a nonperishable food item to donate to the Salvation Army, and you'll receive $1 off admission.

Your ticket to the Home & Garden show includes more than 20 free seminars on topics ranging from gardening with native plants to in home gyms plus admission to the Blue Mountain District Flower Show, which will be set up in a conference room off the atrium. The flower show is organized by members of the six garden clubs in the Mid-Columbia, and they'll be on hand during show hours to answer gardening questions.

*Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513;