By HOWARD BALABAN
Medina Journal-Register — KNOWLESVILLE - About 3,500 guests dealt with unseasonably cold temperatures and harsh wind over the weekend to visit the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show.
People visited a variety of businesses, from banks to florists, woodworkers to confectionary artists.
Lori McClurg, a first time vendor at the show, said she made the trip this year for a simple reason: “I just wanted to get my name out.”
McClurg’s Elba-based location specializes in fudge and candy, many varieties of which were available to sample and/or purchase. She said the show allowed her to meet and greet a steady stream of new customers, many of whom she hoped would become new and repeat customers.
Elsewhere at the show, owner Kevin Garlock of Custom Curb Appeal of New York also made his first-ever local appearance.
“My banner here was made by someone from Medina,” he said, mentioning how that person told him to visit the annual Orleans County event.
“I try to do as many shows as I can, and I decided to do this one this year, and I most definitely plan on coming back,” he said. “There’s been a great response here.”
Garlock’s product line included poured concrete landscape edging and rubberized driveways with built-on multi-colored LEDs.
Also on the grounds, the county’s Master Gardeners worked with youngsters at the show’s first-ever Kids Discovery Garden.
Master Gardener Gail Culver said it was a hit.
“The kids really enjoy it here,” she said, adding that some parents had a tough time dragging their kids away from the station.
The Kids Discovery Garden featured such things as a worm farm and a chance for youths to make a seed tape. There was also a garden art center, where crayons were used to color on heated rocks. The heat from the rocks melted the crayon wax into the rock pores, making for a garden decoration. Culver said she had not seen such a thing before, but was glad her colleagues set it up.
Making the garden attractive to the kids at the show appeared to be an achieved goal, Culver said. She added, “I hope we do this next year, too, because the kids are really fun to talk to. You never know what they’re going to say.”
Orleans County Chamber of Commerce Executive DIrector Kathy Blackburn said she enjoyed what the garden and the rest of the Kids Discovery Zone brought to the event, and it is something that she hopes grows at next year’s show.
As a whole, Blackburn said show went smoothly.
“People who came through seemed to give the vendors the response they wanted,” Blackburn stated. She added that many vendors told her to sign them up for 2014’s show after just a few hours Saturday morning.
“A lot of the vendors also requested bigger booths,” she said. Also, she said the networking among businesses at the show was “phenomenal.”
The quality of customer also impressed the local businesses.
“The people who came here, they really seemed to know what they wanted,” Blackburn said.
At the end of the show, the Chamber awarded a “best booth” award, and for the first time ever there was a tie. The Batavia-based WNY Fireplace Outlet and Medina’s Roberts Farm Market took the top prize.