Curing spring fever

Crowds check out the offerings at a previous Shiawassee Home Garden Business Expo. The annual event is coming up Saturday and Sunday.

OWOSSO — Organizers say they’ve got a cure for the winter blues: the Shiawassee Home Garden Business Expo, which is coming up this weekend.

The annual event, dating back to the 1970s, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Owosso High School. Kid’s Day is noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $5 for age 18 and older, and $4 for 62 and older.

“Everybody’s got cabin fever,” said Jeff Deason, president/CEO of the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Expo host. “This is a great time to get out and figure out spring projects.”

About 3,500 people are expected to come during the weekend to check out 100 vendor booths. They can look forward to several new features. First, free canvas bags decorated with a state of Michigan logo will be given to the first 100 paying attendees.

Second, Kid’s Day offers, for the first time, a drawing for a children’s bicycle. The winner will receive $300 toward the purchase of a bike that suits them at House of Wheels in Westown.

Another first is an electronics and appliance recycling hub outside the high school. Old computers and flat-screen TVs are among the items welcome. CRT TVs, batteries or anything hazardous won’t be accepted.

Also new is a live broadcast by local radio station WOAP, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. And the Home Depot Dreamticket gift card drawing, while not new, is the biggest prize amount in memory: $750.

Old favorites include the Downtown Owosso Farmers Market Row. Among the vendors this year are East Riverside Farm, Nom Nom Sweeties, Happy Girl Granola, Blue Cabin Crafts, the Cheese People of Grand Rapids, Hillbilly Fudge, Sandra’s Grotto, Murtle’s Handmade Chocolates, A 2 Z Keys, and sellers of wood creations, jewelry, baked goods and more. Market row will be open all day, both Saturday and Sunday.

Kid’s Day offers a wide range of hands-on activities for the little ones — and they’re all free. Door prize drawings run hourly throughout the weekend, and Z92.5 FM will do a live broadcast from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Vendor exhibits run the full gamut of home, garden and business, and for the past several years they’re not only displaying what they’ve got, they’re selling on the spot.

“We have a diverse cross-section of exhibits at the Expo this year, a very exciting lineup,” Deason said. “It used to be a show, but now you can buy things. Technology has a lot to do with that. It changes the way the whole Expo works.”

Residents aren’t the only ones who enjoy the Expo; the vendors do really well, too, Deason said. One vendor told him that 30 percent of the business he does in a year comes from referrals from the Expo.

This year’s presenters are LAFCU credit union, Vinyl Sash, Crooked Tree Nursery, All-Weather Seal and Memorial Healthcare.

For more information, call (989) 723-5149, visit shiawasseechamber.org or find the Chamber on Facebook.

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