Home & Garden Show starts Friday

ESCANABA – There is a hint of spring weather in the air, which means the annual Escanaba Noon Kiwanis Home & Garden Show and Pancake Days will soon take place.

This year’s event will be held April 11-13 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. 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.

The Escanaba Noon Kiwanis started Pancake Days more than 55 years ago. In the early days, Pancake Days was sponsored by Aunt Jemima pancake mix, with the company sending Aunt Jemima to their event, according to home and garden show co-chair Pat Rudden. It wasn’t until later that Escanaba Noon Kiwanis added the home and garden show portion to their event.

Proceeds from Pancake Days benefit many local community and youth organizations.

“Every dime we raise goes back to the community,” said home and garden show co-chair Estelle Smyth.

Money raised is used to sponsor such things as children’s sports teams, youth service clubs at the junior and senior high school level, and other community needs with an emphasis on helping children, teens, and senior citizens.

Rudden said more than 65 vendors are expected to participate in this year’s home and garden show, promoting a variety of home and garden products and services.

“They (attendees) can expect to have vendors that would fill their needs for home remodeling, decorating and gardening, plus a variety of miscellaneous vendors with ways to improve their home life,” she said.

This year DTE is sponsoring grilling demonstrations by Tommy Fitzgerald, owner of Cafe Stella in Grand Rapids, throughout the three-day event.

“DTE is going to give away the grill he uses to some lucky person at the end of the show in a drawing,” noted Smyth.

New to the home and garden show this year are master gardener demonstrations on how to have the perfect garden by the Michigan State University Extension service.

A more detailed schedule that includes times for both the grilling and master gardener schedule demonstrations will be available at the event.

Rudden said typically the Home & Garden Show and Pancake Days has a terrific turnout.

“Because it’s free to come in, we’ve never really tracked numbers of attendees, but we expect in excess of 2,000 people,” she said.

Rudden noted without the money that Escanaba Noon Kiwanis donates to the several youth and community groups and organizations, many of them would not be able to do what they need to do.

“The need for assistance to all of our youth groups and activities continues to grow in our community,” she said. “Because of that, it’s important that we have a successful, well-attended show because this is how we raise the greatest bulk of our money to support those activities.”

For more information about the Home & Garden Show and Pancake Days, contact Rudden at 786-0220.