| Palm Beach Post
ROYAL PALM BEACH — Taking advantage of this prolonged stretch at home to make some changes to your surroundings?
You’re not alone, and the staff of the South Florida Fair wants to help.
The Home Improvement and More Show is Oct. 23-25 at the fairgrounds’ Expo Center, 9067 Southern Blvd. The event features more than 60 vendors across 35 categories related to home improvement, said Tim Pachis, corporate sales manager for the South Florida Fair.
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The show will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25. Admission and parking are free.
The expo comes as recent surveys show a spike in home improvement projects in the U.S. since the country essentially shut down in late March because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
A Porch.com study released in July found that nearly 80% of homeowners in the U.S. plan to launch a home improvement project in the next year.
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Most home shows since the pandemic were canceled, Pachis said, making the Home Improvement and More Show a rare standout.
While keeping an eye on the increase of demand for home improvement services and products, organizers have the coronavirus in mind for other reasons.
Attendees are required to wear masks, and social distancing is encouraged in the Expo Center, said Vicki Chouris, president and CEO of the South Florida Fair and Palm Beach County Expositions.
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Aisles are wider, and vendors are spaced farther apart, she said.
“We didn’t fill the building to capacity as we really wanted to,” Chouris said.
There will be hand sanitizer stations throughout the Expo Center, plus the usual soap and water in the restrooms, she added.
“We’re encouraging people just to be smart, be safe,” Chouris said.
This marks the first time the fair staff has produced a home improvement show, she said.
The shift last month to Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan didn’t change the measures event organizers are taking at the Expo Center, Chouris said.
This isn’t the first event held at the indoor venue since March, and the events that have taken place have been successful in terms of safety and customer service, she said.
Very few people who have come to events have balked at wearing masks, Chouris said.
“We just tell them, it’s for the safety of everyone right now,” she said.
History on the Rocks
Coming up in November: The second History on the Rocks event at Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
The event, 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, features food and beverage samples for guests as they explore the village’s historic buildings.
Food and adult beverages will be crafted by area chefs, with locally brewed beers, Florida wines and specialty cocktails, Chouris said.
There also will be non-alcoholic selections, including lemonade, tea and ice cream served at the historic Loxahatchee Groves schoolhouse, she said.
In addition to the food and drinks, there will be entertainment in the form of dueling pianos, fire pits for roasting marshmallows and a silent auction to benefit the South Florida Fair Scholarship Fund.
VIP tables seat eight people for $480 and include early admission, early sampling and a VIP badge. General admission is $50 in advance and $60 at the gate, with designated drivers paying $15 in advance and $20 at the gate.
For more information or to buy tickets, go to www.southfloridafair.com.