Herald's Home Garden & Outdoor Expo II a DIY paradise

·3 min read

Mar. 24—ALBANY — Just as the gods conspired — with a little thing called COVID-19 — to halt the sophomore version of The Albany Herald's Southwest Georgia Home Garden and Outdoor Expo, they've reversed themselves and decided to shine a little light — sunlight, that is — on the COVID-delayed Expo II, which will be held Saturday at the Albany Civic Center.

With Home Depot of Albany again serving as title sponsor, the expo is set to run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on what is projected to be a perfect southwest Georgia day. In that time visitors can take a gander at the latest in gardening, home and outdoor improvement, and outdoor sports equipment; learn about gardening small, the latest buzz on bees and growing specialized herbs and flowers; grab a bite to eat from on-site food trucks; pick up one of those handy 5-gallon Home Depot buckets, and register to win a grill, a Sandals vacation package and other gift giveaways.

"We have about the same number of vendors this year as we had the first year, but it's a lot of new vendors," Herald Retail Sales Manager Heather Harrison said. "The sad thing is, so many of our vendors who were a part of the first expo said they had a great time and it was beneficial, but they simply don't have the personnel to take part this year. It's the staffing issues that are impacting everyone.

"But we are excited to bring the second expo to the community. COVID was running rampant here when we decided to cancel the second expo in 2020, but thankfully things have calmed down now to the point we feel comfortable having the expo. We will have masks available for anyone who feels uncomfortable, but I think the people of southwest Georgia are ready to get out and do things."

In addition to Albany Home Depot, outdoor sponsors include Boaters World and Powersports Plus; bag sponsor is Flint Ag and Turf, and promotional materials sponsor is Safeguard. Other official sponsors include Adams Exterminators, Country Financial, Elite Outdoor and Lighting, Flint River Fresh, Keller Williams, Metro Power and Plumbing, Page Brothers Septic and Tractor, SWGA Travel and Tomlinson Outdoor Washing.

Also showing their wares at the expo will be Alfa Insurance Coker, Barn Owl, Bickering Babes Designs LLC, Complete Resource Management, Country Financial, Deer Creek Apiaries, Dillard's, Elite Ag LLC, Elite Outdoor Lighting, Environmental Services, Hope's Grilling Food Truck, Keller Williams, Kinfolks BBQ/Seafood Snack Shack Food, LeafGuard of Southern Georgia, LeaFilter North of Florida LLC, Lee County Landscaping & Outdoor Services, Metro Power, Niik Products, Pretoria Fields, Preventa Security, Quality Care for Children, Renea Miller, Southwest Georgia Travel and Sandals/Beaches, Wild Herbs of Lolita, Albany Area YMCA, Home Warranty Inc., The Buzz Fuzz, Stanley Steemer, Invision Technologies, SOWEGA Beekeepers Club, the Albany Fire Department, Jethros Coffee and Sweets Treats.

"There will be so much going on," Harrison said. "Quality Care for Children will be on hand to help parents find safe summer programs for children, and the YMCA will tell everyone about their summer programs. You can learn everything you want to know about bees, learn how to garden in a 5-gallon bucket with Flint River Fresh, and learn about fresh flowers, herbs, teas, decor and old-timey herbal remedies from Lauren Dorminey, the founder of Wild Herbs of Lolita."

Tickets are $4, but vouchers for free entry are available at Home Depot, Boaters World, Powersports Plus, Flint Ag & Turf and The Albany Herald. Children under 12 enter free, and 5-gallon Home Depot buckets will be given out to visitors as long as they last.