92 vendors participate in 19th annual HCC Alumni Association Flower & Garden Show

March 16, 2013|By CALEB CALHOUN |
  • Wendy Hoover of Hagerstown looks over plants at the HCC Alumni Association Flower & Garden Show held Saturday.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

A Pennsylvania business selling appliances and artwork m ade out of leaves is one of the vendors participating in this weekend’s 19th annual Hagerstown Community College Alumni Association Flower & Garden Show.

The event started Saturday and continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at HCC’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Gay Iapalucci, owner of Leaf Me Alone of Bedford, Pa., takes real leaves, turns them over and blends concrete mixtures with them. After that, they are painted and can be sold as various products, including a bird bath, a Lazy Susan or even a patio table.

“The fun part is painting because I can paint to my heart’s content,” Iapalucci said.

This is the third year that Leaf Me Alone has been a vendor at the show, and Iapalucci said sales have increased each year.

“We like the fact that this is a true garden-themed show,” she said. “It’s run very well, and we like the area. This is one of the friendliest areas we have ever been in.”

Leaf Me Alone is one of the show’s 92 vendors, which include businesses specializing in gardening, flowers, arts and crafts, food and other businesses.

Ott’s Horticultural Center in Chewsville, a family-owned business that has been a vendor at every show since it began, was selling glow-in-the-dark garden stakes that were on display in a dark tent.

“Those would be nice to have if you’re sitting on your swing in the backyard, maybe around a pool or a walkway,” said Karen Baer, and Ott’s employee. “They get charged during the day with the sunlight, and then at night, they will glow.”

The cost for a vendor to set up a 10-foot-by-10-foot space was $200, said John Benchoff, chairman of the show. The price of admission is $4 for adults and free for children younger than 12.

The money raised benefits HCC.

“Last year, the profits from this went to buy equipment for the new STEM building,” he said. “We think this is getting better every year.”

More than 2,000 people were expected to show up Saturday, Benchoff said.

Shannon Smith of Smithsburg said she has been going to the show for at least five years.

“I love coming here to check out all the wonderful floral arrangements to give me new ideas for what to do in my garden,” she said. “My husband and I love to work with flowers, and also, there are great food vendors here, and all the crafts are interesting.”

Smith, 43, added that one of her favorite vendors is The Snalleygaster.

“They have the cutest little jewelry,” she said. “They always come up with some interesting pieces of artwork.”

Chris Myers, 23, of Hancock, added that he usually goes with family and friends to the show, but just browses.

“All the exhibits are nice, and it’s interesting to see different ways to do gardening,” he said. “I’m not really a gardener, but it’s nice to look, and possibly in the future, I might have a garden on my own.”


If you go ...

What: HCC Alumni Association Flower & Garden Show
When: Today, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center
Admission costs $4 for adults and is free for children younger than 12. Proceeds benefit the HCC Alumni Association.

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