Check out the show

A plant vendor does some business during the 2018 Perry County Home and Garden Show.

NEW LEXINGTON-Ted Wiseman of the Ohio State University Extension Office plays an important part in the annual Perry County Home & Garden Show, which returns to the county fairgrounds this weekend after taking a year off due to COVID. With help from a group of Extension volunteers called the Perry County Master Gardeners, Wiseman coordinates with the various vendors who participate in the show to set it up, and will be on hand during the event to provide gardening and farming guidance and advice to those who attend.

“The master gardeners are part of Extension, and I’m the Extension educator for ag and natural resources, so we have a booth there,” Wiseman explained. “And when people come in, if they have questions about gardens or shrubs or trees, I or the master gardeners can answer those questions and help them out.”

And while most questions might be about topics such as fertilizer or pest control, Wiseman said that in his time working the garden show he’s handled a wide range of queries.

“I get (questions about) everything under the sun, from bed bugs to Bigfoot,” he said with a laugh. On the latter subject, he recalled, “A lady asked me if they were real, and I said, ‘Well, ma’am, with as many hunters as we have that have trail cameras out in the woods and every place else, you’d think we’d have a picture of them by now.’ And she said, ‘Well, they’re too smart for that.’ So that’s where that question ended.”

Wiseman recalled the annual show’s origins. “We used to do a plant sale years ago, and then we decided to hooked up with the (Perry County) Tribune, and moved it into a full-blown garden show with other vendors and exhibits,” he explained.

As with so many other annual events in Perry County and elsewhere, the Home & Garden Show reluctantly took a year off in 2020 due to COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. But it’s back on track for 2021, and bigger and better than ever, organizers promise.

Hosted jointly by the Tribune, OSU Extension and the Master Gardeners, the show happens this Friday and Saturday, May 7-8 at the Perry County Fairground Coliseum on state Route 37 in New Lexington. The show will run from 3-7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission and parking are free; attendees are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Appearing once again at the show this year will be Tribune outdoor columnist (and longtime news reporter) Doug Clifford, who has promised to set up his booth in his “big red Skeeter bass boat” (see column, this issue). He’ll also be bringing along a guest, Dustin Karns, who owns the Ohio-based Venom Lures, and who will have many of his fishing lures and Waft fishing rods available for sale at the show.

There will be plenty of other products and services on display as well, such as crafts, jewelry, yard decorations, gardening equipment, plants and flowers, baked goods and more. Bailey’s concessions will also have two food trucks on site.

And while looking over the plants and gardening tools, visitors who wish to will also be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Personnel from Community Health Programs and the Area Health Education Center at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine will be on site to staff a free vaccine clinic on Friday from 3-7 p.m., offering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Registration and observation areas will be inside the coliseum. Walk-ins are welcome, or you can make an appointment by calling 740-593-0175 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., or visiting ohio.edu/medicine/covidclinic.

There will be so many giveaways offered at the show, you may well come away with a prize. In addition to those offered by individual vendors, the Tribune will be holding three grand prize drawings with prizes including a Camp Chef 24-Inch Smoke Vault; two Sonoma Goods For Life Regular Antigravity Chairs; and a Sonoma Goods For Life Bowl Fire Pit. There will also be two drawings for $25 gift cards.

Sponsors of this year’s show include Matt Kaylor Kia of Lancaster; the Realty Group of New Lexington; Southern Perry Incubation Group for Entrepreneurs; Wolf Country Radio; Bobcat Enterprises; National Telemed Solutions; John Deere/Ag Pro; Hubbs Heating & Air; Dennis & Nelson Insurance; Everdry Waterproofing; Mr. C’s Powerwash; Park National Bank; Buckeye Bed Bug Detection; Genesis Healthcare System; N8 Family Chiropractic; Leafguard; and Altercare Integrated Health Services.

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