How would one list all there is to see at the Colorado Garden & Home Show?
Here’s how Jim Fricke, executive director of the Colorado Garden Foundation, breaks it down.
Picture pulling into your driveway. The show, he says, has something for everything in front of you: Your yard, your garage, the outside of your house and everything inside.
“I describe it as a one-stop market where people can find anything and everything they need for their home,” Fricke said.
For the show’s 61st year, 625 exhibitors will take over 400,000 square feet of the Colorado Convention Center, making it the largest event held at the downtown Denver venue and the largest home show held west of the Mississippi. It attracts about 55,000 people.
When the show begins Feb. 22, attendees will have nine days to check it all out. “All” includes companies promoting, among other things, landscaping, window treatments, cabinets, flooring, lighting, fireplaces, patio furniture, gutters, sound systems, storage systems, greenhouses, decks and hot tubs.
At a “hot products” zone, sponsored by 9NEWS, visitors can look at the latest in gardening and home improvement. Products on display include a self-activating fire extinguisher system, live turfgrass sod and hand-carved wall murals.
Fricke says his job of organizing the show is a “large task.”
“We actually start working on the next show during the current show,” he said. “It definitely takes a full year.”
Because of its size, Fricke recommends looking at the show map online in advance “so it’s not as overwhelming.”
The show also goes big in terms of giving back. It has since the beginning in 1959, when the Colorado Garden Foundation started the show to raise money for the Denver Botanic Gardens.
This year, the foundation will award $750,000 in grants and scholarships to 63 organizations across the state.
Money will go to Colorado Springs organizations such as Care and Share Food Bank.
“Basically all the money we make on the show we give away,” Fricke said.
Another part of the show? All those flowers.
The show floor will be blooming with more than 10,000 flowers and 11 landscaped gardens.
Upon walking into the Convention Center, attendees will be greeted by a 5,500-square entry garden decorated with around 2,000 flowers.
Remember, Fricke said, that’s bigger than a lot of people’s backyards.
The show partners with a nonprofit each year for the entry garden; this year will highlight Special Olympics Colorado and its four seasons of sports.
The garden, installed by Town And Country Landscaping, includes interactive sport displays and medal ceremonies in honor of Special Olympics Colorado’s 2020 Winter Games on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23. There will also be meet-and-greets with athletes.
“This is such a terrific opportunity to get our message out to so many people and to new audiences to us,” said Megan Scremin, president and CEO of Special Olympics Colorado. “A lot of people ask me, ‘When are the Special Olympics?’ The assumption is there’s just one event.”
In reality, athletes are competing in 22 sports, from bowling to skiing to golf, throughout the year.
“I hope people walk away learning something new about our athletes,” she said. “They are truly elite athletes.”
Throughout the Garden and Home Show, there’s a lot to learn, says Fricke.
“The biggest thing I get out of the show is we’re able to help these small businesses meet homeowners and get their questions answered,” Fricke said. “And then we’re turning around and helping Colorado.”