In the late 1970s the world energy crisis was foremost on peoples’ minds. So when the first El Dorado County Home Show was held during that time, visitors came for energy-efficient home improvement tips and products like cutting-edge roofing materials.
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Kathy Jurgens, director of the annual spring home show since 1989, said the show was small back in its early years. “There weren’t enough vendors to fill the Forni building on the county fairgrounds,” she said.
Today Jurgens is busily preparing for the 33rd annual El Dorado County Home Show to be held in May. Thousands of local residents are expected to attend the three-day event at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville and approximately 200 vendors will be on hand to inspire and educate visitors, offering home improvement tips, products and services. Local artisans have a regular spot at the show too.
“Master Gardeners are always a popular attraction at the home show,” said Jurgens, 52. “I often see people bring in their leaves and their garden bugs to be looked at.”
There’s been a surge in home improvement vendors in recent years as well. Jurgens said changing times have brought more interior decorators to the show, as well as more carpeting, blinds and furniture vendors.
“Based on feedback, there’s a demand for energy-efficient tips and products again this year,” said Jurgens, reminding her of the trend so many years ago during the energy crisis. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Some people really want help ‘living off the grid’ entirely, but many others just want to get back to basics; they want to downsize and simplify their lives.
“The people also want to see and learn from plumbers,” said Jurgens, who is still lining up participants. “There’s still time to sign up for a booth!
“Most of our vendors live locally, so someone who visits their booths might run into them later that day at the grocery store. It makes it easier to do business if you live close,” she added. “Cal Expo events are good for people who live out in Sacramento.”
One misconception Jurgens would like to clear up is that the El Dorado County Home Show and the county fairgrounds are not, in fact, connected. “The home show is held there each year — that’s all,” she said.
Jurgens grew up in Davis and has lived in El Dorado County since 1988. She’s grown accustomed to taking off the summer months to decompress after each year’s show, but this time of year she’s eager to dive back in, once more, for the busiest weekend of her year.
This year the home show will be held May 3-5. Friday admission is free from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday admission is $3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ages 18 and younger get in free. For more information visit edchomeshow.com.