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Home and Garden Show back this weekend

Daily Press file photo A presentation on gardening is given at a past Kiwanis Home and Garden Show. After being canceled last year becaause of the pandemic, the event is returning to the U.P. State Fairgrounds this weekend.

ESCANABA — After a year off due to the pandemic, the Kiwanis Home and Garden Show will be making its return to the U.P. State Fairgrounds this weekend, but there will be some changes to the event for 2021.

The free event — which kicks off Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — will take place in the Ruth Butler Building and will feature many of the same vendors as in year’s past. However, there will be fewer vendors to allow for social distancing.

“(Guests) can expect the show to be socially distanced and safe, because we’ll be requiring that attendees wear masks, and we have less vendors this year so we can spread out a little more inside the building. So we should be able to handle social distancing a little better,” said Pat Rudden, Kiwanis Home and Garden Show chair.

The biggest change this year is the annual Pancake Days meal that was served at the event won’t be served by members of the Escanaba Noon Kiwanis. Instead, Skerbeck Entertainment Group will be serving up pancakes as well as midway-style fair foods for guests to enjoy.

“Our Kiwanis club did not feel the community was exactly ready for a really huge pancake meal, but Skerbeck will have seating and it’s going to be very socially distanced so people can feel comfortable sitting with their family members and eating a meal,” said Rudden.

Being family-friendly is a major goal for the 2021 Home and Garden Show. While there will be fewer vendors overall, organizers have brought in new vendors specifically to appeal to children and families. Among the vendors are MISS DIG, Michigan’s utility safety notification system, which will have a mobile unit onsite with fun, educational activities; the Bonifas Arts Center, which will be hosting children’s art activities; and Usborne Books, which offers books for children as young as six months old.

“Other than that, all of our mainstay vendors are back. American Metal Roofs of Northern Wisconsin is once again our sponsoring business, but you will see a lot of our regular mainstay businesses along with some new ones,” said Rudden.

Despite the challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic, Rudden said it was important to bring the event back to the community.

“This won’t be exactly the show that we’ve done in the past, but in some instances I think it’s going to be better. Especially with having kids activities,” she said.

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