Vendors, visitors thinking spring at annual lifestyle show

2014-03-07T18:45:00Z 2014-03-08T22:54:19Z Vendors, visitors thinking spring at annual lifestyle showHeather Augustyn Times Correspondent
March 07, 2014 6:45 pm  • 

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | People sat in lawn chairs outside on their patio, stood in front of their garage doors, or sat on tractor lawn mowers.

They may have been inside at the Porter County Expo Center for the 36th Annual Home & Lifestyle Show on Friday, but the event, which runs through Sunday, certainly gets attendees in the mind for spring and home improvements.

“We need to replace our sliding door, a water softener, and our windows so we decided to come and talk to some vendors. We like it because it’s all local people,” said Kathleen Evans of Valparaiso.

The event, which is hosted by the Home Builders Association of Northwest Indiana, offers 112 vendors at 178 booths, more than last year, and they showcase everything from landscaping and birdbaths, to insulation and blinds.

Vicky Gadd, executive officer of the HBA, said that this year they have added something new, just for children.

“We have a Kids Corner which is located in the third building. We figure they have been cooped up all winter and need some action, so we have a bounce house, a face painter, a photo booth, Culver's is offering games, there are Girl Scout cookies, the Porter County Sheriff's Department is offering ID Kits, and we have a Lego building contest on Saturday — 5 to 8 year olds at 10: 30 a.m. and 9 to 12 year olds at 1:30 p.m. with prizes,” said Gadd.

Greg Clark, system design and integration for Omni Entertainment Systems, said they have brought a sample of their products to the show for the past decade, and they began by demonstrating home theater systems, which they still do, but they have “kicked it up a notch.”

“We offer simple electronic solutions to make people’s lives easier with whole home audio and video control. If you leave your house and forget if you closed your garage door, you can just go to your iPhone to close it,” he said.

Theresa McKinnel, office manager at Omni, said last night on the way home from work she used her iPhone to turn on her fireplace to make her house cozy before she arrived.

“With just one app on your smart phone you can control everything,” she said.

Tammy Poland, owner of HP Granite of Portage said it was her second year showcasing her quartz, marble, and granite counter tops at the show.

“It’s all about getting the word out and last year was successful for us so we decided to come back again,” she said.

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