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Builders show lures thousands at new site

March 11, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Alex Chandler, left, of Fayetteville, Pa., tries out a Milwaukee power tool Friday at the Franklin County Builders Show in Waynesboro, Pa., with help from Milwaukee tools event specialist Kyle Mentzer.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — It may have been the first time that the three-day Franklin County Builders Show was held outside the Chambersburg area, but that didn't keep the crowds away.

"I'm just tickled to death. It's just wall-to-wall people. I just think it's wonderful," said Tom Hanks, executive officer of the Franklin County Builders Association.

Now in its 28th year, the show, sponsored by the association, continues to draw between 13,000 to 15,000 visitors eager to research landscaping, remodeling and financial management.

About 170 vendors filled two separate buildings in the Waynesboro Mall off Pa. 16 in Waynesboro.

The show opened at noon Friday and will continue today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The price of admission is $3 ($2 with a canned-food item), while children 16 years old and under are free. Ladies are also admitted free on Saturday after 4 p.m.

"If it's for the home, it's here," Hanks said.

Waynesboro neighbors Shirley Davis and Marilyn Tracy stopped at one of the vendor's tables.

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"I came in case I want to do anything at my house," said Davis, who owns a duplex in Waynesboro.

"I'd like to replace my front door," she said, stopping to admire some doors on display at the show.

But Tracy was more interested in landscaping.

"Landscaping is free. I can do it myself," she said.

With the economic slowdown and money tight, both women decided to browse rather than open their wallets to make a purchase.

"Right now, we're just trying to get some ideas, and this is a nice way to do one-stop shopping," Davis said.

Rick Soccio, president of A.E.S. Hearthplace Stove Shop of Chambersburg, is fully aware that the economy is affecting consumer decisions.

"We get a lot of leads from the show," Soccio said. "We feel this is a very opportune time to display our products and talk about them."

His company sells fireplaces, stoves, furnaces and grills.

"Peoples' pay is not increasing at the rate that heating oil and electric bills are, so I think people are trying to be in control of their heating."

It was a family affair for Julie Fitz, her husband, Matt, and their children, Peyton, 5, and Cohen, 3, of Waynesboro.

While their goal was to find a shed for their yard and an awning for their back porch, several other items caught their eye.

"They have one-stop here, and you have all kinds of variety," Matt Fitz said.

While Julie Fitz was intrigued by some of the landscaping ideas, she resisted.

"We need to focus on the shed and awning. The other things can come later. The money kind of dictates that," she said.

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