Home and Garden Show: More than 600 attend inaugural event
By Kelby Newcomb
More than 600 people attended the first-ever Carroll County Home and Garden Show at the Berryville Community Center (BCC) on Saturday, March 9.
The Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce and BCC hosted the free event with support from their sponsors.
Steve Johnson, executive director of the Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Home Expo was a great success.
“It was a great day. There was a lot of enthusiastic response,” he said. “We had way over 600 people attend, and we had about 46 vendors that met with locals and talked to them. There was really great engagement as people came in to talk to vendors about their individual goods and services.”
Although the day started off with storms, Johnson said it turned out to be a beautiful day for the expo.
“The garden show was wonderful,” he said. “Because of the weather, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) students moved their plans inside in a corner of the gymnasium. It was wonderful seeing people picking up plants. It gave you that good feeling that spring was finally here.”
Johnson said he appreciates all of the business sponsors and businesses that participated as vendors.
“I really appreciate our Junior Chamber Board students from Berryville High School,” he said. “They really stepped up and showcased what a great organization they are, from running our concession stand and helping with our raffle drawing to helping people get set up and broken down. They also helped BCC clean up afterwards. I’m really impressed with the quality of students in that organization.”
Johnson said Joe Scott, director of the Berryville Parks Department, and the community center team did a great job setting up for the event and handling anything that came up.
“They helped set up a free gardening class that county extension agent Olivia Foster put on,” Johnson said. “It was sponsored by Northark and the Berryville Library. [Scott] and his team did a fantastic job helping to make sure our first-ever Home Expo and Garden Show was a great success.”
He said the Chamber has already heard back from vendors that want to do it again.
“We were already getting calls and inquires as the day wound down about next year’s event,” Johnson said. “So that’s a great outcome. We have a lot of ideas of how to make this event grow and to make it even better next year.”
Anytime you do a new event, he said, there are things you learn along the way.
“We got some great feedback on things we can do,” he said. “We really appreciate all that feedback because it will help us deliver not only what our vendors would like but also what the people visiting are interested in.”
Johnson said it was great to see the number of people who came to the expo from outside of Berryville and Carroll County.
“They see our community as a growing progressive community,” he said. “Our community needs more homes built and properties. People are moving here for new jobs, so this event was a perfect fit. It was really celebrating our growing community and the interest in Carroll County as an economic hub.”
Johnson concluded, “We’re super excited with how it went. We appreciate everybody’s help in making it such a great success.”