AUGUSTA — After the long, cold and snowy winter, Manchester Lions Club members are looking forward to getting out of their houses in force this weekend and hope others will join them too for their 42nd annual Home and Garden Show.

The event at the Augusta Civic Center usually draws around 2,000 people and is the club’s biggest fundraiser, generating some $15,000 to $20,000 the club uses to donate to or help local charitable organizations, provide vision screening and put on benefits and other events.

The show is put on by club members themselves with nearly every member helping out over the weekend with assistance from Civic Center staff. A core of 10 or so members works nearly year-round to organize the event.

Michelle Crocker, the club’s chairwoman of the event, said the spring show annually provides homeowners and gardeners a chance to get out of the house and spend some time thinking about home repairs for the coming season and, especially beneficial after this year’s cold and snowy winter, spend some time thinking about gardening in the garden displays at the show.

“Club members look forward to seeing the flowers and being part of the show as much as the public does, especially this year,” Crocker said. “If a club member is available, they’ll be at the show at some point this weekend. We have some snowbirds who aren’t around, but out of the club members who are here, we’ll probably get close to 100 percent of them.”

Previously, Crocker said, the club used to hire a promoter to organize the show, but club members themselves have taken over that role for the last three years. She said planning for the next show will likely start soon after this year’s show concludes.

Dana Colwill, director of the Augusta Civic Center, said, “It’s a very good show. They do a good job. A lot of the members, volunteers, come in that weekend to help out.”

The show will feature contractor booths and displays, landscapers, tractor and power equipment sales, building suppliers and other businesses aimed at addressing home and garden needs.

Two special events are planned this year. Award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker, television host and organic gardening expert Paul Tukey will present his talk, “Organic Gardening in Maine: 50 Years of Proven Tips,” at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The presentation will show attendees ways to create bountiful gardens without the use of chemicals, organizers said.

Saturday and Sunday, auctioneer, appraiser, broker and antiques dealer Daniel Buck Soule, who has more than 40 years experience in the antiques and fine art business and has appeared as an independent appraiser on the PBS television show “Antiques Roadshow,” and his associates, will offer attendees verbal appraisals of items brought to the event. No written appraisals will be provided, Crocker said.

Participation in those events is included in the price of admission, which is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and military members, and free for children 16 and under.

Other events will include free vision screening for all ages at the Manchester Lions’ booth. Preventing blindness and helping people with limited eyesight is an international Lions Club cause.

Other events include seed planting in which children plant seeds in small cups they take with them to plant at home and a children’s coloring contest.

Kennebec Savings Bank will also provide free herb garden kits to the first 150 people to enter the show each day, Crocker said.

“For people who are building a new home or repairing an older one, or want to learn about energy efficient products, or for folks who just want to get out and have a chance to see some fresh flowers in the garden showpiece, it’s a chance to come out and relax and see some of your neighbors,” Crocker said. “It will be a nice break for everyone.”

More information is online at www.lionshomeandgardenshow.org.

Tickets are available at the door.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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