A fter two years of pandemic-era shut-downs and cancellations, the spring Home & Garden Show returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center March 4-13.
The event, in its 40th year, covers 10 acres and typically draws more than 350,000 visitors, with a showroom full of homegoods you can see, touch, try and buy. With everything from fresh produce to handmade furniture, it’s the largest home event in the U.S.
“Every year people are looking forward to visiting, but this year is different because people have created lists of ways to improve their homes because they’ve spent so much time there,” Moore added. “This year’s Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show won’t disappoint. The superiority of goods and experience of the experts exhibiting for 39 years will continue at our 40th anniversary show.”
Executive Director Mark Moore took over the show earlier this year following the New Year’s Day death of his father, John DeSantis , who had spearheaded it since the first Home & Garden Show in 1982. One of the dining options at the show is John’s River View Café, named in honor of DeSantis.
The show is divided into four categories — shows within the show — so shoppers can find what they need with ease. The Garden Pavilion offers ideas and expertise for outdoor living. The Construction & Remodeling Center features products and experts who can answer questions in that area. The Home Interior Galleries has furniture, lighting, art, accessories and floor/wall/window covering options and ideas. The Kitchen and Cooking Collection provides everything from cabinets to countertops and cookware, plus purveyors offering taste-testing of foods, wines and other treats.
There will be a large variety of vendors at the show this year, whether they’re returning brands or first-timers.
The Pittsburgh Bonsai Society, which offers a way for those who have limited or no outdoor garden space to give their green thumbs a workout, will return with a full exhibition of miniature trees, as well as a presentation stage offering demonstrations and instruction on the ancient art of bonsai. This exhibit premiered at the 2020 spring show, just days before COVID-19 caused that year’s event to wrap up early.
Every year, the show also hosts Amish exhibitors who use woodworking skills passed down through generations to make furniture. This year, Amish craftspeople include Dutch Barn builders who, in addition to barns, build homes and cabins; JDM Structures, who uses green building methods and materials; Keim’s Custom Cabinets, a fourth-generation company that started as a lumber mill; and Weaver Barns/Amish Yard, which offers pre-built or build-on-site options.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FARM TO TABLE
Farm to Table will return to the Home & Garden Show this year, too, with the goal of introducing attendees to a wide range of local farmers that produce vegetables, honey, meat, maple syrup, cheeses and more — all in Western Pennsylvania. The organization, which works to ensure all Western Pennsylvanians have access to fresh, locally grown food, moved into the show in 2019. The next few years would be filled with interruptions and upsets, but founder Erin Hart told Pittsburgh Magazine she’s looking forward to this year’s event.
“What’s great is that all of these small businesses have the opportunity to be part of this huge consumer event that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend because it’s too cost-prohibitive,” she says. “What they’re able to do is make money, and for some of them, it can be 25% of their income for the entire year.”
This year, Farm to Table brings about 60 vendors, including Country Hammer Moonshine, which produces more than 40 flavors of moonshine, redneck rum, vodka and bourbon; Kizzle Foods with a variety of ground peppers; Lemmon Brothers with maple syrup from 4,5000 taps; and Brother Monk Ciderworks, an orchard that grows more than 2,000 cider-specific apple trees.
The Biergarten is an exhibit that features new brews, including the Home & Garden Show’s own RoofTop Hops IPA, which is brewed from hops grown on the roof of the Convention Center.
Additional show features include Steel City LUG, an adult LEGO Users Group sharing their love of LEGO; a Children’s Village with Kidsburgh and the Kids Club Toy Trains; and live jazz music by the CAPA House Band at the Crawford Grill. The Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show was the first venue that paid the CAPA House Band — made up of students from the Downtown high school — at the insistence of DeSantis.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for children 6-12. Admission is free for kids under 6. The Free Re-Entry to the Show Pass, which debuted in 2018, will also return this year; it allows attendees to return to the show without paying an additional admission fee. It’s available to all visitors and can be picked up at the lobby exit after your initial visit.