Three types of people showed up at the Maine Home, Remodeling and Garden Show in Portland on Saturday.
There were the people seeking practical ideas on how to spruce up their homes, the people checking out the newly renovated Cumberland County Civic Center, open for its first public event, and the people who, in between snowstorms, were seeking relief from cabin fever.
By early afternoon on the first day of the two-day show, hundreds of people had inspected patio floors, scrutinized sunrooms and scoped out saunas.
“I am hoping by fall to get a hot tub,” said Sherry Wallingford of Rochester, N.H., as she dipped her fingers into the roiling waters of a display model.
The home show, in its 24th year, offers a hodgepodge of home-related products, crafts and cooking demonstrations. About 180 exhibitors hawked cellphones, plastic storage containers, beds and bird feeders.
Show-goers crowded seminars on designing homes for aging residents and how to make a wild Maine blueberry streusel-topped coffeecake.
Wayne and Debra Cilley of Waterboro shopped for new windows.
“We are gathering information and hope to be able to gather some estimates,” Debra Cilley. said.
Valerie and Jeff Gendron and their children, Jack, 7, and Ava, 8, said the home show gave them an excuse to get out of their house in Sanford.
A painting contractor, Jeff Gendron said the show also helped him pick up on new trends in home remodeling projects.
“I can see what’s out there,” he said.
Lisa and Todd Lalumiere of Falmouth, repeat attendees, said they are always involved in some home renovation project. They look for new ideas at the show, they said.
Last year Todd Lalumiere fixed his business’ septic problems using advice he received at the home show.
“And another reason we are here is to take a peek at the civic center,” he said.
The home show gave the civic center its test run as an exposition venue after a $34 million renovation, which was receiving finishing touches just days before the show. The project equipped the center with new luxury boxes, larger locker rooms, wider concourses and expanded box offices and restrooms.
“It’s nice,” said Jen Joerger, helping out at the Jaiden Landscaping exhibit.
But by early afternoon it was hard to get a good look at the changes when traffic jams formed in some exhibit aisles.
The home show continues at the civic center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for those older than 65, $6 for those ages 6 to 16 and free for children under age 6.
Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org