Sunday, March 12, 2000

Garden, home show a chance to escape

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Weather-weary residents trying to escape the cold reality that it is still winter flocked to the 32nd annual Cincinnati Home and Garden Show, which opened Saturday.

        They strolled through the heated Albert B. Sabin Convention Centerdowntown — escaping the overcast skies, chilly temperatures and freezing rain that greeted them outside.

  • What: Fifth Third Bank Cincinnati Home & Garden Show.
  • When: Today and March 19, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Monday, closed; Tuesday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesday, noon-9 p.m.; Thursday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, noon-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Where: Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center, Fifth and Elm streets, downtown.
  Tickets: $8 for adults, $2.50 for children.
        The spring perennials raised in greenhouses, a fake sun hanging from the rafters and man-made brooks provided an escape for many.

        Wearing a coat, Susan McManus sat in a empty hot tub for more than five minutes, imagining it was in her back yard.

        “We just wanted to sit in it and see how it felt — even though it didn't have any water,” said Ms. McManus, 34, of Trenton, Ohio. “And yes, we could imagine the water.”

        One of the many salesmen at the show planned to spend the day jumping on his double-pane replacement window, attempting to prove its resistance to shattering. But his sales pitch backfired when the window shattered, prompting one onlooker to say, “There goes some sales out the window.”

        Others moseyed through the 13 garden displays. One display featured the Cadillac of lawn mowers: The Turf Tiger, painted Bengal orange and complete with black-tiger striping, was on sale for $7,979.

        Salesman Dale Magie admitted not many homeowners bought that model; he had more than 14 other mowers that many would find more practical.

        For Cathy Shupe of Miami Township the crowd was just too much. She used one of Mr. Magie's riding mowers as a chair to rest in.

        She came out to the show to look at swing sets for her 6-year-old son, Zacharyah, and get decorating ideas.

        “My favorite swing has a rope swing, chain ladder, curvy slide and a penthouse,” Zacharyah said. “I can use binoculars to look out of the penthouse.”

        With some of the swing sets selling for hundreds of dollars, Mrs. Shupe's husband, Dan, was glad he has not yet received his paycheck.

        “There isn't any money in the bank to take anything home,” he said.


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