Make yourself at Home (and Garden Show)

ESCANABA – The Escanaba Noon Kiwanis Home & Garden Show and Pancake Days takes place Friday through Sunday in the Ruth Butler Exhibition Building at the U.P. State Fairgrounds.

Hours for the show will be Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to home and garden chairperson Mary Beth Miller. Parking and entry to the show are free. Tickets for the pancake feed are $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children under 6.

Pancakes will be served from the time doors open to the time doors close, she noted. The Escanaba Noon Kiwanis started Pancake Days more than 50 years ago.

Proceeds from the event benefit many local community and youth organizations.

The annual event will feature more than 65 new and returning vendors who promote a variety of home and garden products and services, allowing those in attendance to speak with experts in one central location.

“If people have that spring project they are thinking about doing, everyone is under one roof, so it’s very convenient for them to talk to vendors,” said Miller.

New to this year’s event are a number of cooking shows by self-proclaimed “grillologists” Mad Dog & Merrill throughout the weekend.

“They’re actually nationally recognized,” said Miller. “They travel the country performing in front of live audiences.”

Mad Dog & Merrill will perform two shows Friday at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; four shows Saturday at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 5 p.m.; and two shows Sunday at 10 a.m. and noon. The duo, whose motto is “If you can cook it, you can grill it,” was one of the first acts featured on the Food Network.

DTE is one of the vendors sponsoring Mad Dog & Merrill, who will perform their show using a $700 natural gas grill.

Any DTE customers who watch Mad Dog & Merrill’s cooking show during the event are eligible for entry into a drawing for the grill. The winner will be announced on Sunday.

The Escanaba High School Key Club will also be holding a karaoke and talent show, with prizes awarded to three winners whose names will also be drawn Sunday.

“The reason we have the Key Club doing the karaoke contest is Kiwanians are known for their singing,” Miller added. “So it’s kind of cool that the Key Club kids are continuing this tradition.”

The turnout for each year’s show is dependent on weather, but Miller said the show can average anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000 people.

“It is a successful show,” said Miller. “Every penny that we earn is used in the community, be it the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, youth groups. That’s what we’re all about – community and children.”

For more information about the Home & Garden Show and Pancake Days, contact Miller at (906) 789-0900.