FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Last year’s Home and Garden Show led to concern about the arrival of COVID-19 in Fort Wayne.
Over a year later, the event is back in the Coliseum, with a vaccination clinic next door.
Gayle and Don Springer have been coming to the Home and Garden show for a while.
“Twelve, 15 years easy, easy. Probably more than that,” Gayle said.
And although the show was postponed to mid-April, Gayle is just grateful she can attend at all.
“We just love it. And I wasn’t for sure it was going to be on this year, and I’m so glad it is," Gayle said. "So glad it is. I’ve missed it.”
The COVID-19 vaccination clinic also located in the coliseum does take up about one-third of the space the Home and Garden Show would normally occupy.
Show President Becky Williamson says to keep the event safe, the halls are wider and masks are encouraged, though not required.
“As soon as we got the go-ahead and the approval from the health department, we were ecstatic,” Williamson said.
Despite the uncertainty and smaller scale of the Home and Garden show, visitors say it felt just like they hoped it would.
“We run into so many people that we’ve known for years, business and personal," Don Springer said. "And it’s kind of like almost a family reunion coming back out here, so we love coming out here.”
Williamson and the Springers say the overall experience hasn’t changed.
"People are just ready to be out again and thankful to be here," Williamson said.
"Do what you normally do if you come to the Home and Garden Show," Gayle Springer said. "It hasn’t changed. It hasn’t changed as far as comfort."
Roughly 450 businesses are featured at the event this year, which is about 200 less than the show would have in a normal year.
The Home and Garden Show will continue through Sunday. A full list of hours is on the event's website.