While outside temperatures were wintry, the atmosphere inside was nothing but spring Saturday during the sixth annual Lawrence Flower, Lawn, Garden and Home Show, held at the Lawrence Holidome this weekend.
Brightly colored flowers and greenery, oblivious to the chill weather outside, greeted visitors to the event. The show, "The Magic of Spring," drew an estimated crowd of 500 during its opening on Friday night, according to Pete Wempe, president of the show's board of directors.
Show chairman Dave Klein said Saturday night that attendance hit 2,587 for both days. That's ahead of the count for last year's show, said Klein, who is manager of the Earl May Garden Center.
People attending the show were checking out more than 30 exhibits set up by Lawrence-area businesses.
PEOPLE STROLLED through the displays of plants, house siding, lawn and garden equipment and foods. Businesses showing their goods included landscapers, flower and garden shops, firms specializing in home-grown foods, various house contractors such as remodelers and a heating and cooling company. Besides displays, those attending could watch videos on various topics, sample food items, purchase flowers or products or simply have their questions answered.
Seminars on garden and home topics were also offered and door prizes were given away. Woodsy Owl was on hand to greet youngsters attending as he wandered around the show.
A flower show was sponsored by five Lawrence garden clubs. They were Design Guild, Green Thumb Garden Club, Lawrence Flower Club, Meadowlark Garden Club and Prairie Acres Garden Club.
MEANWHILE, youngsters had their own share of activities. That included the Kansas State Horticulture Therapy Club which demonstrated to children how to make terrariums out of pop bottles. Children also gathered at the Kids Can Do Workshop, supervised by the Douglas County 4-H'ers. At the free workshop, children went to various stations where they used a hammer, screwdriver, saw and drill in their own woodworking project. Coloring was also available. Approximately 80 children participated in the workshop Saturday morning. The workshop will also be offered today from 12:30 to 4 p.m.
"I think everyone is having a fun time," Wempe said as he watched people stop at various exhibits. "It's a real opportunity for anybody planning on doing any investing in lawn equipment or in their house, whether landscaping or actual work to be done on the house to compare."
According to Karen Pendleton, vice president of the sponsoring organization, the show benefits the consumers by being more educational than commercial, but it also benefits the businesses.
"IT GETS ALL the garden centers working together," she said. "It helps all of our businesses work together."
The show concludes today. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $2 per person, and children under age 12 are admitted free. Today's seminars include Bird Identification, Donna Lewis, representing Lawrence garden clubs, 12:30 p.m.; Herbs: Cooking and Growing, with David Warriner, Dave's Herbs, 1:30 p.m.; and Decks and Outdoor Rooms, with Scott Thomas and Marc Ridenour, National Association of Remodeling Industry, at 2:30 p.m.
At 4 p.m. today, the show will close down and all display plants and flowers will be sold. Klein said proceeds from the sale and ticket sales are used for horticulture scholarships for students from Douglas County. Anyone interested in applying for a scholarship can contact Dennis Bejot at the Douglas County Extension Office.