Vendors scramble to prepare for Home and Garden show

Latest for homes, gardens is on display at exhibition

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It was almost showtime, and Chris McCormick was sweating.

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Steve Bear, the owner of Georgia Door and Gate, sets up his company's booth for the seventh annual Augusta Home and Garden Show at the James Brown Arena. Bear, of Midville, Ga., is one of 150 vendors at the event.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Steve Bear, the owner of Georgia Door and Gate, sets up his company's booth for the seventh annual Augusta Home and Garden Show at the James Brown Arena. Bear, of Midville, Ga., is one of 150 vendors at the event.

“We’re going to need to move this rock and it’s going to take everybody,” he said, indicating an orange, oval boulder about the size of a golden retriever.

The rock was among almost 5 tons of gravel and stone he had hauled into James Brown Arena on Friday – ranging from mere pebbles to a 900-pound behemoth artistically placed by a forklift – to produce a garden pond display for his business, Paradise Water Features.

“We only got about 35 minutes to get this done,” McCormick said, scrambling to reposition rocks and shovel gravel while the minutes ticked away.

McCormick and his crew of four had been working all day Friday to meet a 1 p.m. deadline for vendors to complete setting up their displays at the seventh annual Augusta Home and Garden Show. About 150 vendors in all were setting up Thursday and Friday, said show manager Bonnie Myers, whose job it was to enforce the deadline.

Friday’s sudden storms created a few last-minute complications, but Myers wasn’t worried about being ready for the public when the doors opened at 2 p.m.

“Whenever we have inclement weather, it gets a little flexy,” she said. “I just had one vendor call to say they were sitting in the middle of a tornado, so they were going to be a little late.”

Vendor booths covered a wide array of products and services, from granite countertops, windows and kitchen cabinets to playground sets, grills, wine, knives and exercise equipment.

Most vendors were just cleaning or attending to last-minute touches. However, Steve Bear of Georgia Door and Gate had already put in more than 10 hours of work by noon and still had a way to go on his display, which featured a combination roll-up door and window system.

“I hope I’m going to make it,” said Bear, of Midville, Ga., who was at the show for his second year. “I just found out I’m missing some screws.”

Back at the Paradise Water Features display, McCormick had rounded up some beefy help to reposition his rock, and water was beginning to fill the pool. But his work wasn’t finished.

“I’m going to make it, but I need to put in a pump over here,” he said.

McCormick’s brother finished his own water feature that morning. The two brothers have dueling displays and different businesses.

Jay McCormick, of McCormick Land­s­­caping, said he had hauled in 8 tons of materials for his pond, which featured a couple of giant urn-shaped fountains.

“I loaned him some of my guys to help,” said Jay McCormick, observing his sibling’s 11th-hour efforts to finish. “Chris is running a little behind.”


WHAT: Seventh annual Augusta Home and Garden Show

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: James Brown Arena, 601 Seventh St.

COST: $7.50 adults, $3 ages 14-16, free ages 13 and younger, $5 seniors 65 and older, $4 military

MORE: Find a seminar schedule and get a $1 off coupon for adult admission at www.augusta

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GGpap 02/24/12 - 10:44 pm
Years ago I attended many

Years ago I attended many home and garden shows in the northwest. All of the those displaying their wares or services were there for one purpose; to solicit new business. Actually,in another life, I was once a vendor as well.

I quit going to these events when the sites started charging entrance fees. Why should I, are anyone else for that matter, pay to enable businesses to gather our names, addresses, and phone numbers in order for the vendors to ask us to do business with them?


alumna 02/25/12 - 09:56 am
GGpap, the money goes to pay

GGpap, the money goes to pay for the security and maintenance of the venue, not to the vendors. The vendors don't get paid to be there; they are speculating for business at their own expense.

GGpap 02/25/12 - 01:06 pm
alumna, while you are correct

alumna, while you are correct as to the cost of security and maintenance, as a former vendor (1960's) the cost of security and maintenance was included in the fee the vendors were charged for the rental of their display space in the facility housing the event.

We gladly paid the fee for the privilege of soliciting business from the large number of potential cutomers that passed through during the event.


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