A mish-mash of vendors selling jacuzzis, wooden sheds and off-road vehicles sat near a Central Emergency Services fire truck on display in the parking lot of the Soldotna Sports Complex Sunday, where hundreds spent the weekend visiting booths focused on all aspects of home life.
The 35th annual Home Show sold out of vendor spots, more than 111 according to organizers, and had a waiting list before the weekend’s events kicked off Saturday.
“We’ve expanded as much as we can and put folks in the parking lot,” said Cindy Rombach, executive officer of the Kenai Peninsula Builder’s Association, the show’s sponsor. “If we had a bigger facility we could certainly fit it.”
Proceeds from the show go toward paying for the facility and logistics of arranging it. In addition, the money funds the builder’s association, a non-profit building industry professional organization, Rombach said.
As a steady stream of people carried food, children and building samples up and down the aisles of the show, several stopped to get adjustments at Arctic Chiropractor, chat with supporters of the senate-candidate Joe Miller’s campaign, or look at chicks in a heated box at the Kenai Peninsula 4-H booth.
Nearly every booth, from Mary Kay to Creative Home Design, sponsored some sort of give away or raffle for attendees.
As Leroy Tomrdle, 4, softly tapped on a box-window trying to get the attention of the chicks nestled inside — his mother Heidi Tomrdle kept an eye on the rest of the family.
“We do this every year. It’s like a fun springtime family activity,” she said.
Her husband stood in the corner with a sample of building siding and a handful of information from a booth about bears on the Kenai Peninsula. Heidi Tomrdle shifted her young son’s attention to a glass container of incubating eggs sitting on the corner of the 4-H booth table.
“The best part was the firemen,” said Maya Montague, 9, after Tomrdle asked what she liked the most about the family’s annual trip to the show. “They have a bunch of puppets set up and they give you info about what to do in a fire.”
Heidi Tomrdle said she liked the variety of different booths.
Every 10-15 minutes a new door prize was announced. A bicycle, barbecue pit and bottle of wine sat on a table by the entrance where an announcer said she had hundreds of prizes to give to the crowd.
Among the prizes was a $500 giveaway from the Homer Electric Association and a home show raffle for an outdoor garden shed.
Proceeds from the raffle fund the builder’s association annual scholarships.
“We’re giving out four $1,000 scholarships for students who are pursuing construction-related majors and attending school in Alaska,” Rombach said.
While she wasn’t sure how many people had attended the weekend’s show, Rombach said it had been consistently busy.
“Weather didn’t keep people away,” she said. “Through the years, rain or shine, they’re always going to come to the home show.”
Reach Rashah McChesney at firstname.lastname@example.org