FAIRFIELD — Visitors had plenty to see Saturday during the Total Home, Garden and Festival.
Nearly 200 vendors that included businesses, organizations and public agencies lined the parking lot and filled the Specialty Event Center, formerly a Walmart, for the bi-annual weekend event at its new Fairfield location.
Promoter Nicole Arabia and her husband, John, were pleased with the turnout.
“This is our biggest fall show yet,” said John Arabia. “It’s almost as big as our spring show.”
He said the fall event, formerly held under tents in Vacaville, was half the size of the 50,000-square-foot Specialty Event Center.
“. . . We have a lot to offer,” he said.
Outside, leaders of Boy Scout Troop No. 271 were hosting its Rain Gutter Regatta, where children could construct a toy sailboat from a kit to race down an inflatable “rain gutter.”
“Thirty-five years ago, we actually used rain gutters,” said Ted Smith, adventurer crew adviser. “Now they have the nice inflatable things.”
The Rain Gutter Regatta is an offshoot from the Pinewood Derby, which was started in 1953 in Southern California, said District Executive Mike Moffat. The local Boy Scouts teamed up with Lowe’s for a Pinewood Derby earlier this year and decided to host a regatta at the home and garden show.
“The purpose of this is to attract young boys into the program,” Smith said.
About 14 children – including some girls – had raced a boat Saturday, said Lowe’s employee Aaron Brown. “And the weekend’s not over.”
“. . . It’s slow, steady and the kids are all walking with smiles on their faces,” Brown said.
Inside the events center, couples perused an array of displays from Tupperware to SleepTrain mattresses to actual rain gutter shields.
Curt Jenkins was checking out the GutterDome protection system, which features a dome-shaped mesh cover that sifts leaves and debris from a rain gutter.
“It’s a good idea – pricey,” he said. “It will last a lifetime if you take care with it.”
Jenkins, who came to the event with his wife, said he was shopping for general items for the home.
“I built a new house and still have a few items to put into it,” he said. The Cordelia resident had already checked out Forever Lawn’s artificial turf and was looking for information on solar panels.
“We’re still 25 percent done,” he said.
Mary Jenkins, thinking of their new grandchild, came to the event to get a flu shot as well as a whooping cough vaccine. Both are offered by Solano Public Health inside the center.
She said they had both been to the home and garden show before when it was in Vacaville but preferred this location.
“I’m enjoying this spot,” she said. “(I) hope to have it here again.”
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.