CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Great Big Home + Garden Show is back in Cleveland this weekend, more than two years since it last rolled through town. The annual showcase of the latest home and garden trends runs Feb. 4-13 at the I-X Center.
The return comes after its longtime home faced an uncertain future when its previous operator shut down the venue in September 2020. A year later, a new management team, Industrial Realty Group, announced it would reopen the building, a former tank plant.
“It’s like a little miracle, we’re so excited to be back,” show manager Rosanna Hrabnicky said. “It’s like they haven’t missed a beat. Things are right back to where they were. The show looks amazing.”
For consumers, the expo couldn’t have come at a better time. Home improvement spending has surged during the pandemic. Still, at the same time, health and safety concerns have often made connecting with the right designers and contractors a challenge.
“Not being able to sell face-to-face has been hard on some of our exhibitors,” Hrabnicky said. “Building relationships with the visitors that come to the show is so meaningful because that’s where you feel that trust in a person to turn your home into a better home.”
She has high hopes about attendance. Advanced ticket sales are on pace with 2020, though the ongoing Omicron wave combined with wintry weather could put a wrinkle in those expectations. Homeowners who do come will find more than 400 exhibits designed to inspire them for their next project. The show also features appearances by home improvement celebrities “Trading Spaces” star Ty Pennington and Matt Fox from HGTV’s “Room by Room.”
Among the returning exhibits is Showcase Gardens, a popular walkthrough attraction consisting of eight professionally landscaped gardens that revolve around a theme. This year’s theme is “staycation.”
“People have been staying home and redoing their backyards,” Hrabnicky explained. “So, we’re showing pools and waterfalls. There’s even one garden by CK Stonescapes with an Ohio State theme.”
The show typically features an Idea Home, a full-size home inside the I-X Center that visitors can actually go inside and explore. This year is no exception as JDM Custom Homes has built a two-story, two-bedroom, two-bath modular home to showcase an emerging method of construction that offers both flexibility and value.
“Modular homes are a little bit smaller, but they’re definitely coming of age,” Hrabnicky said. “The quality is amazing. It’s gorgeous.”
Some other show highlights include:
• Main Stage: Get home and garden tips from national and local home improvement experts like Ty Pennington, Matt Fox, Laura Mineff, John Hall and more, plus cooking demonstrations by the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking
• Weaver Barns Backyard Oasis: Turn any outdoor space into a personal sanctuary with a shed, pavilion, garage or cabin
• Quint Living Experience: Looking to downsize? Tour two tiny homes including a 20-foot house on wheels and learn about a new, holistic approach to living
• Doggie Drive: Bid on custom doghouses built by juniors and seniors at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center
Tickets for the Great Big Home + Garden Show can be purchased at the door for $15 or ahead of time at a local Petitti Garden Center or online at greatbighomeandgarden.com for $13. Discounts for seniors, groups and children are available, too. The show is following the latest public health regulations and, thus, no mask or vaccine mandates are in effect.