Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 8, 2014

Home and Garden Show

Up to 5,000 turned out for the first event

TAHLEQUAH — Randy and Sheryl Ingram knew exactly what they were looking for when they visited the Good Food Festival and Home and Garden Show last weekend.

They also knew exactly what they didn’t want to find.

“We don’t want a summer-long project,” said Randy Ingram. “We love to visit home-and-garden shows and find new products or new ideas, but this time, we really just want some ideas and advice. We really don’t want any major project, but we decided it is time to have a backyard makeover so we can host more family get-togethers.”

The Ingrams joined thousands of other visitors Friday and Saturday in Norris Park, where about 50 vendors put their products on display – everything from lawn mowers to home siding.

Kim Mattox, of Green Country Gardens, took the time to introduce the 40-year-old business to potential customers.

“We’re passing out cards and drawing in some customers,” said Mattox. “Carroll and Pat Germany are the original owners of Green Country Gardens, and we’re four miles west of Tahlequah on State Highway 51, but a lot of people don’t know we offer retail. We’re there seven days a week until the middle of June.”

Mattox said the home and garden show presented the perfect opportunity to meet new clients and introduce them to their products, including annuals, perennials and ground cover.

Tom and JoElla Retherford, of Sandstar Custom Cabinets, displayed several examples of wood stain options. Aside from telling visitors about their cabinet work, they also fielded questions about other potential projects.

“I feel like it’s doing some good,” Tom Retherford said of the weekend event. “We’ve generated several potential leads. You can’t sell if you don’t promote, so it was kind of a no-brainer, in my opinion.”

Most of the 47 vendors set up in Norris Park were local, said Tahlequah Main Street Director Drew Haley. Others might have been headquartered in another city, but have local representatives.

“Overall we’re extremely happy [with the event],” said Haley. “We went around and pretty much talked to everybody and we heard it was great, that they made several contacts.”

Haley said one TV station from Tulsa broadcast live from the home and garden show, and the publicity helped draw in visitors.

“Not only did the broadcast make local people aware of what downtown is like, and the things we have to offer, but even the whole region got to see,” said Haley.

Haley estimates 4,000 to 5,000 visitors stopped by the event between Friday and Saturday. He expects the turnout will ensure the event is brought back next year, but said it could be in a different location.

“There’s been talk of maybe utilizing the event center in some way, but we don’t know,” said Haley. “We talked to a lot of vendors that were here, and some mentioned maybe having the show in the event center, but others said they like it outside. Could be that, if it was a big enough event, we could do both.”

But that will be a decision for a later time, he said.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

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