On March 10th and 11th, the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the annual Home and Garden Show, to be held once again in the Limestone County Event Center on Pryor Street. This expo has grown every year, draws attendees from all over the Tennessee Valley, and is the perfect way to prepare for spring. More than 50 exhibitors come together to make the event happen, and the price for admission is two dollars. This year the Presenting Sponsor is Robin Rents; the Gold Sponsors are Persell Lumber and Top Job Roofing; Silver Sponsors are Alabama Foundation Specialists and Redstone Federal Credit Union; and the Bronze Sponsors are Collins Supply, Distinctive Landscaping, Inline Lighting, Jimmy Smith Buick/GMA, and Valley Mowing. I spoke with Jennifer Williamson, Director of the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, and there are several things about this year’s show that she finds particularly exciting. “First of all, Miss Alabama is coming, and that’s a first.” She went down the rest of her list with enthusiasm, which includes everything from learning how to distress furniture to attracting butterflies to your garden. “Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful just found out that they will have 800 tree seedlings to give away. There will be crape myrtle, shumard oak, redbud, bald cypress, blackgum and riverbirch,” she said. These will be available on a first come, first served basis, and just know that the crape myrtles especially sell out quickly. One of the distinctive features of this year’s show is the number of hands-on demonstrations. For example, the Limestone County Extension Service is presenting a workshop entitled, “Screening the Noise, Neighbors and the Not-So-Pretty.” While I was fairly familiar with plants that provide privacy, I had never known that there are actual hedges that can help with soundproofing. That demonstration is going to be on Saturday at 10 am. The Extension Service is also going to teach us about container gardening, and will give away a beautifully planted container as a raffle prize. The Huntsville Botanical Gardens, home of the largest seasonal butterfly house in the nation, will be presenting the Gardening to Attract Butterflies demonstration on Saturday morning at noon. Speaking of Huntsville, the HSV International Airport will be giving away a $500 travel voucher to be used on any airline of your choice that has a gate there. There will be door prizes and other giveaways sponsored by the vendors, and lots of activities for the kids. Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful’s mascot, Sparky, will be providing photo ops with the kids, and KALB’s Director, Lynne Hart, told me that “Sparky will have goodies to give to the children.” Sparky will be appearing two times on Saturday: from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. and from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. There will also be a kid’s planting activity, also held twice on Saturday, from 10:30 til noon and 1:30 till 3 p.m. Representatives from every aspect of home improvement will be present, from HVAC to roofs to windows to siding to plumbing to financing to more. For your garden, there will be people from a big-box store as well as a large local nursery. For your home’s interior, you can find help with custom picture framing, lighting, furniture selection, remodeling and radon detection. And, if all the choices before you make you feel stressed, there will be professional massage therapists to help with that. Last year, more than 2,000 people attended because there is something for everyone at a price that can’t be beat. The Annual Limestone County Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show is one of my favorite ways to wait for spring to finally spring. The Limestone County Chamber of Commerce Annual Home and Garden Show Friday, March 10th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 11th from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Limestone County Event Center, 114 West Pryor Street, Athens, AL 35611 For more information, visit www.tourathens.com or you can find the event on Facebook by visiting the event page Limestone County Home and Garden Show. You can also call the Chamber at 256-232-2600. By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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