Ready for spring

Spring was on the minds of both visitors and vendors Friday as the 2014 Home & Garden Expo began.

The event, held for the first time at Iowa Central Community College’s East Campus, brought returning visitors and first-time guests to see what area vendors had to offer.

Dell Seagren, co-owner of Stone Creek Landscape & Nursery, of Fort Dodge, said he had several people asking about different services and items for sale.

“We have the maintenance-free furniture made from recycled plastic,” he said. “We also have injections for the emerald ash borer to help save the ash trees.”

Trent Bockoven, co-owner of Superior Siding, of Fort Dodge, said he was answering questions about shingles and siding.

“We’ve had a lot of people interested in siding and seeing before and after pictures,” he said. “In fact, we just had someone come up who was a repeat customer.”

Bockoven said coming to the Home & Garden Expo helps those returning customers.

“They know we’re here and that they can come and see us,” he said.

Rick Edington and his wife, Donna Edington, who own Critter Camp, of Duncombe, were looking to get the word out about their services.

“This is the time of year where people start looking for fences for their pets,” Rick Edington said.

Donna Edington said many visitors were asking about the hidden fence system.

“They’ve been asking about whether it works for all sized dogs, which it does,” she said. “It works from beagles to big dogs.”

There were also a number of businesses being represented at the Home & Garden Expo for the first time.

One of them was Plumb Supply Company, of Fort Dodge.

Operations Manager Todd Johnson said this was a new experience for the company.

“We’re wholesale and we usually sell to plumbers,” he said. “We decided to try it out this year to show our products.”

Johnson said one of the most popular items was what he called a “meta tub,” which is a vertical bathtub where people can sit down.

“It fits where your standard tub fits,” he said.

Energy Solutions of America, of Ankeny, was also represented at the Home & Garden Expo for the first time.

Amy Beverly, who schedules sales representatives for the company, spent Friday night dressed as Peppy the Pig, the company’s mascot.

Although this was the company’s first appearance in Fort Dodge, Beverly said the company travels all around the state and country.

“We did this in Des Moines too,” she said. “We’re also scheduled to go to Daytona Beach later on this month.”

Mary Gibb, who recently moved to Fort Dodge from West Des Moines, said she was enjoying her first visit to the event.

“We’re just getting started and already I’ve got a bag of goodies,” Gibb said. “It makes me get into the mood for spring.”

She added she didn’t come with a specific item she was looking for.

“I’m always just looking for home improvement ideas,” she said.

Sam Adams, of Gowrie, was visiting for the second time.

“I was curious to see the new building,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of vendors and I was interested in seeing what they have.”

The Home & Garden Expo even attracted visitors from out of state. Sharon Stacy, of Fountain Valley, Calif., was visiting her parents, who are from Fort Dodge.

“We’re checking everything out,” she said. “We’re looking for some home decor items and we’re seeing if there’s anything here.”

The Home & Garden Expo continues today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is sponsored by The Messenger, the Fort Dodge Homebuilders Association and Iowa Central Community College.