Crowd flocks to show Saturday opening

Rainy weather and cool temperatures weren’t enough to dampen the spring-time spirit as New Bernians showed up en masse to New Bern Riverfront Convention Center for the New Bern Home & Garden Show on Saturday afternoon.

The show is the unofficial start to spring and featured more than 90 vendors offering fresh ideas for home improvement projects.

“We’re appealing to people who are building a home or looking to remodel,” said show manager Julie Alley.

Foot traffic was at a standstill in many areas throughout the center as attendees closely examined the newest developments in technology in areas ranging from pest control, landscaping, duct cleaning, and water purification. In addition to available vending were seminars on interior design on a budget and raised bed gardening.

The event offered more than just home improvement, and there was something to cater to even the most discerning of interests, including a seminar on investment basics.

“There’s something for everyone,” Alley said. “If there’s women who want to do a little shopping for themselves we have makeup; they can grab something for the kitchen, pots and pans, Tupperware, dishes, we even have hot tubs. For men, we have lawn mowers and campers, and there’s kids items, so there’s a little of something for everyone.”

The ability to bring in so many vendors that cater to a wide array tastes is a reflection of New Bern’s welcoming spirit, and many of those vendors return year after year.

“Probably 80 percent of our vendors come here year after year,” Alley said. “They love the town of New Bern because everyone’s so welcoming and are a joy to work with, that’s what keeps them coming back. Most of them tell me they’ve been here since the event started.”

Christine Cain is one such vendor.

“We’ve been here for five years,” she said. “It’s been a really good show for us. We come back as often as we can. The people are great, the facility is great, it’s just a really nice show for us. We do the Christmas show as well, so that tells you we like it here.”

The show, which continues today, begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Admission is free and the first 500 guests will receive a free tote bag. There will also be a $1,500 giveaway, with three attendees winning a $500 gift card to use at the vendor of their choice. Guests can attend seminars on topics including retirement planning, sprucing up a room on a budget, and raised bed gardening. Entertainment for children will also be available at the Kids Zone, and local oldies band The Bears will be performing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.