Although the weather outside was wet and dreary, the 2018 Pennsylvania Home Show’s opening on Thursday afternoon felt more like a welcome breath of spring.
The 44th annual event, which runs through Sunday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, is filled with more than 200 exhibitors offering everything from spring landscapes and patios to bathtubs and kitchens to lenders and tiny houses.
“Our exhibitors cover everything you could possibly think of. Anything that you could think of that would be in a home is here. It’s one-stop shopping,” said Dave Sheppard, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Harrisburg. The show is produced each year by the Home Builders Association.
Sheppard said he expects this year’s show will attract between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors during its four-day run. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. March 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 2 and 3, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 4.
New this year is the Chefs on Show fundraiser that takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, featuring chefs from local restaurants. Attendees can purchase tickets for a chance to vote on the best chef. Proceeds benefit Rebuilding Together Greater Harrisburg, which assists “the less fortunate” and senior citizens with home repairs, Sheppard said.
Also new this year is a tiny house display by Craft and Sprout of Greenwich, Connecticut. Proprietors Tori and Ken Pond welcomed a steady stream of curious visitors into their 298-square-foot mobile pool house. “There are lots of different uses for these. Some people live in them, but you can use them as guest houses or a man or woman cave,” Ken Pond said.
Joanne Erb of Port Royal said the “very cute” model would make a “great guest house,” but she would defer from living in it full time. Erb and her husband were there to plan for a master suite addition to their home and evidently, this wasn’t it.
Nearby, around 50 students from Cumberland-Perry Area Vocational Technical School were busy working on four construction projects. Three of the four projects were sold before the Home Show began, carpentry instructor Jody Snider said. The projects were a 24’-by-24’ garage with a second floor, a storage building, a pavilion with an enclosed end, and an outdoor bar.
Snider was one of four Cumberland-Perry instructors accompanying students from the school’s masonry, electrical, HVAC, landscaping and carpentry shops. Haylei Kelly, an 11th-grader from Newville, was working with a team of four students who were laying pavers for the pavilion’s landscape. “I like the physical work and seeing what everyone else can do from different perspectives,” Kelly said.
Another new feature at this year’s show is a wine and spirits garden that also offers finger food. “We’re trying to create an atmosphere. We want to try to make it an experience for the people who come here,” Sheppard said.
Christopher and Julie Peck of CP Tile LLC, Newburg, have participated as Home Show exhibitors for eight of the 21 years they’ve been in business, they said. CP Tile offers bathroom and basement remodeling, along with other services.
“Coming here absolutely helps our business. For a Thursday, it’s been good here so far,” Christopher Peck said.
Besides Peck, several other exhibitors cited a rise in business after participating in the Home Show. West Shore Windows & Doors has taken part in the show for 12 years. “A good amount of people stop by to see us here. People know West Shore,” said field team sales representative Mathew Awau.
Vendor Nancy March of Secure Credit Repair in Camp Hill said she enjoyed the show’s overall experience.
“It’s a great place here. I’m looking forward to a great day and seeing some beautiful displays,” March said.