OTTUMWA — Fifty vendors will line the exhibition hall of Bridge View Center, ready to help residents kick off or brainstorm spring home improvement projects.
Last year’s success of the return of the Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress Home & Garden Show has given the event momentum for 2020.
“The community and the vendors had a pretty positive response last year,” said Shea Greiner, vice president of engagement and organizational advancement for GOPiP.
“We’ve pre-sold 200 tickets so far,” she said of the 2020 show. That’s not including tickets sold through the local Faraway and Hy-Vee stores. “We hope to have 1,000-2,000 people.”
Greiner said last year saw an increase in numbers and vendors. And organizers have taken comments from 2019 into consideration for 2020. “They requested more garden. That was a big request,” she said.
To bolster that side of the show, lawn furniture from Amish businesses will be some of the vendors on hand. They’ve also brought in a tree service, and breakout sessions will tackle some of those issues as well.
Additional vendors include home-based businesses such as Mary Kay and Pampered Chef, and the Girl Scouts will return with a booth again.
Other vendors that you might not think about for a home show include shabby-chic antique dealers, home security dealers and handmade soaps. “You can even buy a vacuum,” Greiner said, at The Sewing House booth.
But the real focus is a return to the show’s roots: home improvement. “We’re really trying to focus on the homes,” Greiner said. There will be booths featuring roofing, countertops, cabinetry and flooring. “Any project, large or small, we should be able to help you.”
In addition to vendor booths, the show includes a full lineup of speakers during breakout sessions. Van Harden of WHO Radio — as well as author and motivational speaker — is the featured guest, and he will speak from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. He will also be selling books and signing autographs.
Additional speakers include Carol Geib of Wapello County Master Gardeners, Chef Adam Darling from Indian Hills Community College, Hilary Lanman of Wapello County Extension and Professor George King, pastor of Pennsylvania Avenue Free Methodist Church, motivational speaker, black belt and owner of Gurdian Jiujitsu and Judo.
The show, Greiner said, also offers families a chance to get out of the house and prepare for the upcoming spring season. “It’s also kid of beat the winter blues, get out of the house, get ideas going,” she said. “It’s just simply getting out and getting the great ideas.
“It’s just bringing a great event to Ottumwa,” Greiner added. “It’s also a great way to show your support for community businesses.”