Home expo coming to Carroll County
By Kelby Newcomb
Carroll County residents interested in building, purchasing or remodeling a home can find everything they need under one roof at the 2019 Carroll County Home Expo & Garden Show in March.
The Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Berryville Community Center (BCC) will host the event with support from their sponsors. The Home Expo & Garden Show will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at the community center.
“When Mayor Tim McKinney and [director of economic development] Chris Claybaker came to us with the idea of having the Chamber of Commerce host a home expo and garden show, we jumped at the opportunity,” said chamber president Ken Wingate.
Wingate continued, “This event will provide an excellent opportunity for our chamber members and local businesses to connect with local consumers face to face. That is the very essence of what the chamber is here to do.”
Steve Johnson, executive director of the chamber, said the idea behind the event was to showcase builders, realtors, lenders and home-related businesses in the area.
“We want to showcase what chamber members and local businesses can do,” he said. “We’re cooperating with the city and BCC, and [director of the Berryville Parks Department] Joe Scott is helping us a lot to get this set up.”
Scott said the BCC will have about 38 booths set up inside the gymnasium and about 15 set up outside.
“We’ll have about 50 booths plus available for rental,” he said.
He said the inside booths will measure 10 feet by 12 feet and will cost $75 to rent. The rental rate for chamber members will be $50, and the rate for nonprofits will be $35, he said.
Scott said the outside booths will be 10 feet by 10 feet and will be $35 to rent. The rental rate for chamber members will be $25, and the rate for nonprofits will be $10, he said.
“A lot of times at these home expos in Springdale and Rogers, the booths would probably be hundreds of dollars per booth,” he said. “I feel like the rate is pretty reasonable, and hopefully that makes it approachable for everyone. That’s a pretty good rate, especially for chamber members.”
Johnson said the Home Expo & Garden Show is a free countywide event.
“McKinney insisted it be countywide because we’re all in this together with our area growing the way it is,” he said. “There is a need for housing, and this time of year people may have an interest in moving to a new home, building a new home or improving the home they’re in.”
Scott said the city also hopes businesses interested in developing will attend the expo.
“We took a pretty broad spectrum approach,” he said. “Maybe builders would like to attend to showcase what they want to do in the area.”
“Ginger Oaks has agreed to help us for the garden show portion,” Johnson said. “She has done garden shows and home shows on the square in years past. She’s been enthusiastic about helping us and brings a lot of energy to it. She has a lot of great ideas and has introduced us to people.”
He said Berryville High School’s Junior Chamber Board will volunteer at the event, and several sponsors have lined up to help host it.
“We are moving pretty quickly with getting vendors lined up and signed up,” Johnson said. “It’s going a lot faster than I thought it would. There’s a lot of interest in this event from all over Carroll County.”
An event like this normally takes about six months to put together, he said, but the chamber and community center have about six weeks to do so.
“We’ve been able to get on top of this within a week,” he said. “Having Joe and the partnership between the city, the chamber and the Berryville Community Center Foundation has helped us get on top of it. It has really been exciting to work on this.”
Scott said the event fits the spirt of the community center, too.
“We want to fulfill needs throughout the county,” he said. “We’re health and fitness oriented, but we’re also community-based. We want to do things that are good for the community, and we know this will be good for it.”
Scott continued, “We’re hoping the public will see this event for what it is: an opportunity to come to one place and get all these things checked off.”
For more information, visit BerryvilleChamber.com or BCC.Berryville.com. To reserve booth space, call 870-423-3704 or 479-644-9057.
“We’re urging people to go ahead and call,” Scott said, “because there seems to be a lot of interest. It’s not a huge space and we have about 50 booths, so I would encourage anyone interested to jump on it.”