Feb. 26, 2022 — The area is showing early signs of spring with the return of the Florence Home and Garden Show next week, Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5. Presented by Coast Radio KCST/KCFM and Siuslaw News, the two-day show at the Florence Events Center will feature more than 40 vendors in home improvement, spas, health and wellness, gourmet foods and more.
“I have a really good variety on the vendor list,” said Jon Thompson, general manager of Coast Radio KCST/KCFM. “One of the more exciting things about it is, there are more than 16 vendors who have never been in the show before. That's probably the largest influx of new vendors that we've ever had over the years.”
Holding the show in 2022 is cause for excitement, as well. The show was las held in March 2020, just days before the cancellation of all public events at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the organizer, Thompson had to work extra hard this year to make sure the event could happen at all under current health and safety requirements. Although the planning normally begins in October, he didn’t get started until late December in order to keep an eye on local COVID-19 infections.
“We wanted to see what the trends were going to be. By the end of December, it seemed apparent that the Omicron variant was going to be a steep decline as far as a wave. And that has come to pass,” Thompson said.
In addition, businesses were looking for points of hope during the winter.
“At that point in time, we had a fair amount of vendors who had contacted us and were interested in going forward. So we began the process,” Thompson said. “We had a lot shorter timeframe to put this together, and that that's what made it particularly challenging this year. But I’m just really thrilled with the lineup we finished with.”
New this year, the Home and Garden Show will only be two days. Doors will be open Friday, March 4, from noon to 6 p.m. and continue Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’re offering free admission to keep the lines from forming and encourage attendance,” Thompson said.
In the past, the Home and Garden Show would bring 2,800 to 3,200 people through the event on Florence Events Center’s flat floor.
“That's a big segment of the community when you look at the percentage of people in the community who attend,” Thompson added. “I refer to it as the most attended annual inside event in Florence. And it's held pretty strong over 24 years. We're just thrilled with the strong attendance over all those years. We try to put together a fresh show every year for those who attend, so that we get different stuff in there. And of course we like to keep the staples in.”
Event sponsors are Three Rivers Casino Resort, Oregon Pacific Bank, Central Lincoln PUD and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to the vendor booths, the show will feature demonstrations, household products and food tastings. Masks will be required during the event.
The crowning glory every year is the centerpiece designed by Laurel Bay Gardens. This year, the theme is “Celebrate Gardens!” and will feature indoor plants & décor, native landscaping and water features.
Another floral feature of the event is the Siuslaw Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, which will be giving away a rhododendron each hour of the show.
“March is the start of spring from a lot of people's perspective,” Thompson said. “The home show weekend is the weekend that the clocks change again. And March tends to be when we enter our spring phase in the Florence area. For people wanting to work on gardens and yards and do landscaping or have some projects they want to get going for the summer, the timing on it makes it a really viable point in the year to do it.”
The Florence Home and Garden Show also falls on a good weekend for many vendors who attend other area home shows, such as the one in Lane County which runs March 11 to 13.
Florence’s show will also include prize drawings. There will be a grand prize drawing for $500 in cash, a $250 gift certificate from Laurel Bay Gardens and a hybrid water heater and Nest thermostat from Central Lincoln PUD.
“We're going to have more new product demonstrations this year than we ever have,” Thompson continued. “And we've got almost half a dozen new booths that have new products, and they'll have demonstrations going in their booths. So that's another highlight.”
Many vendors (full list available on page A9) will be familiar to residents. Their regard for the annual show in Florence helped encourage some new vendors to sign on.
“I think there's a lot of pent up demand out there. And we'll be hopefully coming off this weather,” Thompson said. “People are thinking spring and they want something to do on a breakout weekend in a couple of weeks. … I think it's going to be a really good show.”
For more information, contact Coast Radio at 541-997-9136 or visit www.facebook.com/CoastRadioKCSTKCFM.