PARKERSBURG - The 2014 Great American Home Show kicked off Friday in Parkersburg, offering area residents a chance to view different types of products and services for potential home improvement projects in the spring.
The home show continues today from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. at the former Big Bear in the Park Shopping Center. Admission is $3 for adults, $5 for couples and free for children.
John Farnsworth, executive director of the Home Builders Association of the Mid-Ohio Valley, which sponsors the home show, said the weekend event got off to a good start Friday with vendor participation and public attendance.
Donald Stephens, left, of Ravenswood and Dick Poole, with Jefferds Corp., examine a piece of equipment available from Jefferds on Friday during the 2014 Great American Home Show in Parkersburg. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
A total of 70 vendors and 20 crafters signed up for this year's event, with some vendors taking up multiple spaces. Farnsworth said he had only two unfilled booth spaces for this year's event, which is a good turnout.
"So far it's been real brisk," he said Friday evening. "If (today's) weather is like (Friday), we'll have a good turnout."
The home show generally features builders, remodelers, landscapers, heating-and-cooling experts, kitchen-and-bath specialists, foundation repair, patio builders, pavement companies, carpet services, energy-efficient windows and doors, home security, home design, fencing, insulation products, satellite television, and lawn and garden equipment.
Robert and Linda Cale of Belpre were among the visitors going from booth to booth Friday evening, checking out what was available in terms of products and services.
Robert Cale said the couple recently moved into a new home and didn't yet need many of the services featured Friday, but said they have been coming to the home show for years and like checking out what is new and interesting. Past visits have helped with projects on previous homes the Cales have owned, such as windows and siding.
"This is a thing to get us out of the house here, because of the cold weather," he said. "It's just kind of a fun thing to do, to see what's out on the market and different products."
Jack Sayer, an event coordinator with Bath Fitter, said he has been coming to the home show in Parkersburg for several years representing the company.
"It's a very good event," he said of the Parkersburg show. "It's one of the home shows that we really like."
Sayer said events like the home show offer the company a chance to let people know about Bath Fitters products and services, including free estimates and other information.
One of the new vendors at this year's show is Hardman's Supply Co., which is based in Spencer. Company buyer Larry Dolan said the company has seven locations in West Virginia, including one in Mineral Wells.
"We decided to branch out and come up here this year and try to introduce some of our products to a greater market," Dolan said, adding the response from visitors on the first evening was positive.
For the home show, Hardman's was highlighting some of the product lines it sells, from power tools to windows and siding to stoves.
The Great American Home Show has been an annual event in the area for more than 30 years and remains popular with local residents. Attendance for the weekend usually runs between 3,500-4,000 people. The event's sponsors include Wincore Windows and Doors and Wayne Homes.
Organizers are giving away $500, $250 and $125 as door prizes to be used with any vendor in the show. There will be a silent auction with more than 75 items to bid on, which will run through the weekend, ending at 4 p.m. Sunday.