Home and Garden Show weathers the Sierra storm

By Lenore Rutherford, The Union Democrat March 22, 2012 02:12 pm

Soggy weather failed to keep hard-core do-it-yourselfers away from last weekend’s 31st annual Home and Garden Show at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

“We come early every year to beat the crowds,” said Steve Palhegyi, of Sonora, who was touring the show with his wife, Sandy, on a drizzly Saturday morning. She said they weren’t really looking for anything they need after 50 years of marriage, but you never know if you will find something you can’t live without.

“Besides, it’s nice to stop by and visit with friends every year,” Sandy Palhegyi said. “My husband is retired from the construction business, so we know a lot of the people out here.” 

Duane Lillie, of Sonora, attends the show every year to check out new innovations and products. “I have to see what’s new,” he said, “and this is the best way to do it.”

They were among about 3,000 people who attended the show on Saturday despite the weather, that brought overcast skies, intermittent rain showers and even a little snow, a rarity in Sonora, where the Home and Garden Show is held.

The show, sponsored by The Union Democrat, seems to draw a crowd regardless of the weather. Advertising Manager Gary Piech said Sonora Police Cadet members who were directing parking at the fairgrounds told him the lot was full by noon on Saturday, and that usually indicates attendance of about 3,000 for the day. He expected the same amount of people to attend on Sunday.

Because of the limited parking at the fairgrounds, a free shuttle carried visitors from The Junction shopping center to the fairgrounds throughout the show.

The free show has become a springtime family tradition. More than 100 vendors show everything from pest control services, windows and banking options to gardening supplies, pools, heating and air conditioning systems and complete home design and build services.

There were demonstrations and lots of free gifts, drawings and special show discounts.

Nonprofit groups were there as usual with displays, demonstrations and lots of free information. Some were selling food and drinks to help pay for their philanthropic projects.

Contact Lenore Rutherford at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 588-4585.