The Freedom Hall Civic Center parking lot was jam-packed with cars Saturday as crowds of people filtered through the 43rd Annual Home and Garden Show, presented by the Home Builders Association. Once inside, people moved freely from the two showcase rooms located on the basketball court and the arena floor.
Traveling from booth to booth, visitors could learn about topics ranging from ideas for the backyard to home decor.
A new addition to this year’s event was a Kid’s Zone area provided by students from the David Crockett High School Skills USA group. Taking up a wall all to themselves on the basketball court showroom, DCHS masonry/carpentry students prepared parts for birdhouses for kids to make and paint.
Amber Blackburn, a DCHS student, said her class cut the wood used for the birdhouses.
“We started cutting the pieces of wood and making sure that they were all even, and we ended up cutting about 800 to 900 pieces of each part,” Blackburn said.
Once the kids finished their birdhouses, they headed down to the DCHS Civinettes group, who help add a little color to their creations.
“We are helping the little kids paint their birdhouses,” said Brooklyn Snapp, DCHS student and Civinettes treasurer.
Snapp said while this project is new for the Civinettes group, they’ve had a great turnout.
“It’s been constant the whole time. We’ll have a break or two, and we’ll clean out the water and fix up the paints and then they’ll all come again,” Snapp said.
Snapp said that as a whole, the DCHS group received the blue ribbon for community service. Other DCHS-associated booths at the show were run by students with FCCLA, FBLA, cosmotology and graphic communications.
Another show-stopper at the expo was Chef Mickey Smith with Kitchen Craft Cookware. While Kitchen Craft has participated in the Home and Garden Show before, this particular event was a first for Smith.
“What I do is I show people how they can cook about a four-course meal in 15 minutes,” Smith said. “We show them how the cookware cooks without using any water, without using any grease, or oils, or fats and how it maintains the flavor in your food.”
Smith planned a 15-minute presentation for onlookers preparing a vegetable medley, tossed salad, a stir fry, fried chicken and baked potatoes.
While Kitchen Craft is located in West Bend, Wis., Smith is a Mississippi native who travels around to different expos, averaging 40 shows annually. Smith said he’s really enjoyed his time at this year’s show.
“This has been really a blast, as far as the show’s concerned,” Smith said. “People are great down here.”
The Home and Garden Show continues today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the show is $3 per person and kids are free when accompanied by an adult.