Do-it-yourselfers and weekend warriors rejoice. The Southern Illinois Home and Garden Exposition is back.
The event is set for this weekend at SIU Arena after last being held in Marion in 2013, when the former host Home Builder’s Association of Southern Illinois dissolved.
The show used to be a staple in Southern Illinois, with shows at Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, John A. Logan College, SIU Arena and The Pavilion of the City of Marion. Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Les O’Dell expects more than 2,000 attendees to celebrate the show’s resurgence.
“Basically, we saw this as an opportunity to promote some of our members and to give residents of Southern Illinois an opportunity to continue to be exposed to those kinds of services and products,” O’Dell said.
The latest in home improvement ideas and outdoor living products and services will be on display this weekend.
“We will have dozens of exhibitors showcasing everything from garage doors to outdoor equipment, and from flooring to garden material, O’Dell said. “We see it as a way for local business to showcase to local residents, and we anticipate attendees from the whole region.”
The show, organized by the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and presenting media partner River Radio, will offer home owners and outdoor living enthusiasts an opportunity to visit with area contractors, retailers and service providers offering a wide range of home and outdoor products and services.
The two-day expo will include a special area where children can undertake their own projects sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers, a $500 cash giveaway sponsored by SIU Credit Union, a sneak preview of the Carbondale Farmers Market spring season and other surprises.
The cost is $5 to attend. If attendees bring a non-perishable food item, they receive an additional entry for the $500 cash prize.
The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce found a way to bring the heavily attended event back to the region.
“It was more of an undertaking that even we realized, but we are making it happen,” O’Dell said. “It will be worth the effort.”
Business owners in the region are grateful for the hard work.
“We are very excited to be a part of the upcoming Home & Garden show,” said Jami Lee Wright, sales manager of Wright Do-It Center in Murphysboro. “It is a wonderful opportunity to meet new customers, learn about their home improvement projects and gain the chance to partner with them.”
Jim Jacobs, owner of Jacobs Heating and Air in Carbondale, said he is glad to see the show back in Carbondale.
“It gives the customer an opportunity to be exposed to meet the people from your company,” he said. “People like to do business with people they know and like, so this really gives us a chance to accomplish that.”
The show kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday and runs until 6 p.m. The hours for Sunday are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It’s a great showpiece for the community,” O’Dell said. “Businesses get to show their products and services, and people get to start thinking in that home improvement mindset.”
O’Dell added that the event is a positive off-shoot of Saluki Way, SIU’s ambitious $83 million plan to re-center campus around new academic buildings and athletic facilities that was approved in 2007.
“The city and university have cooperated so much on making all of the renovations, in part so we could be confident in hosting events just like this one,” he said. “This is just another positive outgrowth of Saluki Way.”
Call the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce at 549-2146 for more information.