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The Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show – one of the tri-state area’s most popular annual events – returns for its 42nd edition Thursday, February 26 through Sunday, March 1 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne.

An estimated 50,000 visitors will enjoy exploring the newest and most innovative home and garden products and services showcased by more than 650 exhibitors. They also will learn the latest gardening and landscaping techniques from area master gardeners, and revel in the Dr. Seuss-themed Kids’ Area featuring a small animal petting zoo, martial arts and dance demos, adoptable animals, make-and-take clay pottery, photos with the Dr. Seuss cast of characters, and other interactive exhibits.

Brand new this year is the “Ultimate Backyard,” a glorious dream garden designed and installed by Lawns Plus. One of the largest gardens ever displayed at the show, the Ultimate Backyard will tantalize with its pond, waterfall, fire boulders, lush greenery, and bright, colorful flowers – a delight for all senses!

Featured presenters at this year’s show are Don Engebretson, the award-winning Minnesota garden writer and designer known as The Renegade Gardener, and popular antique appraiser and star of Discovery Channel’s Auction Kings series, Dr. Lori.

Dr. Lori appears at 12 noon and 7 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, offering one free appraisal per person, per show. The holder of a PhD in Art History from Penn State University, Dr. Lori has appeared worldwide with her Antique Appraisal Comedy Shows, “breaking a few hearts, making a few millionaires,” and always entertaining her audiences. Her nationally syndicated column reaches 9.5 million readers in over 400 publications, and she has been a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Tonight Show and Inside Edition, among others.

The Renegade Gardener is bringing two presentations to the show, “Crafting Cool & Creative Container Gardens” and “Really Cool Plants for Fort Wayne Area Gardens.” He appears at 2 pm and 7 pm on Thursday and Friday; 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm on Saturday, and 1 pm on Sunday.

Nearly 20 programs on a wide range of topics will be presented throughout the show’s run by an impressive roster of well-known and well-respected Master Gardeners.

“We are incredibly excited about this year’s event,” said Karen Tejera, producer of the Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show, “and we’re looking forward to welcoming our long-time showgoers as well as all of our first-time visitors.

“We have a fantastic roster of exhibitors on board who are bringing so many new and very cool products and services to the show. Whatever a homeowner or gardening enthusiast wants or needs to know, we will have the experts on hand who can answer the questions.

“And then there’s the Ultimate Backyard,” Tejera continued. “I think our showgoers will be talking about this for a very long time! We’ve never presented a garden as large or as elaborate or as fabulous as this one. It’s going to be simply incredible.”

The long-time show producer also is looking forward to the Showbucks initiative. Every hour throughout the show’s four days, $100 in Showbucks will be awarded to a visitor at random. “You don’t have to register, you just have to be here!” Tejera said. Showbucks are similar to gift certificates, but can be used only at this year’s Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show.

“We’re going to make quite a few of our guests very, very happy,” she predicted. “This will be like finding a hundred-dollar bill just lying in the aisle! Showbucks recipients will have an extra $100 to spend at the show, and who wouldn’t love that?”

Show hours are 11 am to 9 pm Thursday and Friday; 10 am to 9 pm Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors 62-plus. Children under 15 years of age are admitted free. Parking in convenient, well-lit Coliseum lots is $5 per vehicle.

On Thursday and Friday, show visitors who bring a canned food donation for Community Harvest Food Bank will receive a $1 admission discount – or log on to the show’s website, www.home-gardenshow.com, to download a $2 off admission coupon. All discount offers – including the senior discount, canned food donation and discount coupon – can be combined on Thursday and Friday for deeply discounted show admission.

Complete information about the 42nd Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show is available at www.home-gardenshow.com.

The Fort Wayne Home & Garden Show is sponsored by Windows, Doors & More, and presented by American Family Insurance. The show is a member of the Home & Garden Show Executives International, and has been selected for membership in Premier Home Shows, an organization affiliated with only the finest home and garden shows in North America.

The Waynedale News Staff
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