Sandy •The South Towne Expo Center parking lot was nearly full an hour after the annual Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Festival opened Friday, a sign perhaps that the cold, foggy and snowy winter has many folks dreaming of spring.
"It has been so cold for long and so miserable that people are hoping spring will come sometime soon," said Melinda Meier, who represents show organizer, Marketplace Events.
But some may be hedging their bets on it ever getting warm. One of the "hottest" items at this year's festival the show features nearly 500 vendors and a 25,000-square-foot landscaped garden are outdoor fire pits.
And among the more popular was StoneScape's display that featured a gas fire pit that could burn in the shape and color of a red "U" or a blue "Y."
StoneScape's Don Edwards said his company can make its fires in just about any shape and color.
The StoneScape display also featured a miniature water park for children made by Arizona-based RainDeck. It featured an oversized fire hydrant and a mushroom that spewed water onto a pad. Company representative Ryan Werlich said the idea is to bring a smaller version of a water park into backyards.
Edwards said the show is important for his company and often can generate an entire year's worth of business. "We're still doing last year's work."
Tyson and Audrey Olson of Herriman were typical of the hundreds walking the show floor. They recently purchased their first home and are looking to make improvements in their yard, including putting in a playground for their child. Audrey was especially interested in an expanding hose that contracts back into its original shape when the water is turned off.
Pat Korth of South Jordan said she comes to the show because she likes the variety of vendors. This year, she was looking for someone to repair a cracked cement floor.
The number of different products and services offered at the festival include energy saving-systems, trampolines, silk comforters, log houses, hardwood floors, bathroom remodels, window-cleaning systems, stone and rock outdoor decorations, and food storage.
Featured speakers this weekend include Chip Wade of HGTV's "Curb Appeal," Mike Baird of Spike TV's "Flip Men," gardening consultant and author Johy Bossi, and closet organizer specialist Alicia Richmond.
If you go
What • Home and Garden Festival
When • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday
Where • South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy
Admission• $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, children 12 and under free.
For discount tickets and more information • Go to http://www.saltlakehomeshow.com