WEIRTON - The weather may have been damp and chilly Saturday but Ben Bowers had a warm fire burning near the entrance to the Serbian-American Cultural Center.
Inside the center a variety of businesses were showing off their products and services while Bowers, owner of Bowers Landscaping of Wintersville was displaying an outdoor living space he had designed and built for the fourth-annual Tri-State Home and Garden Show.
The show started Friday and will be open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. today.
Alecia Sirk of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau talked to William Brosek of Weirton about the summer concerts to be offered this summer at the Weirton Event Center. -- Dave Gossett
"We built a red cedar pergola from scratch and laid patio pavers here in the parking lot. We have the stone pathways bordered by mulch and potted plants. And we have a patio table and chairs for relaxing. But the highlight is the mirage stone fireplace where we are burning firewood. This is just one example of what we can do for someone's outdoor space," explained Bowers.
Inside the cultural center Dale Mattox of DeNoon Lumber of Bergholz had a corner of the room dedicated to the various wood products his company offers.
"We have had a real good response on Friday and so far on Saturday. We are happy to be at this show in Weirton because we have a lot of customers from the Weirton area," said Mattox, a salesman with DeNoon.
"As the oil and gas building continues to grow in our area we have more and more people who are either building new homes or remodeling their existing homes, and they want to use quality products for their homes," added Mattox.
"I will tell everyone who stops by our display area that we are the best buy in town," noted Mattox.
A few steps away John Cucarese and Nicole Vehalik held court at the New York Life booth.
"It has been very good here. The show just opened for today and we are already seeing a number of people walking through the cultural center and stopping here to ask us questions," observed Cucarese.
"Friday was more of a business oriented evening, but today and Sunday we expect more of the general public. We talk about retirement policies which is sometimes a scary thought for some people. But we had a gentleman stop by already today who talked about his pension in the mill had been reduced and he was looking for options and answers. We have already set up some appointments for follow-up conversations," said Cucarese.
"We have been participating in the Tri-State Home and Garden Show for three years in a row and it has been a very good for us," remarked Cucarese.
Just around the corner Marianne Shaw and Darci Yocum, workshop specialists were busy taking orders for the furniture made at the Jeffco Workshop in Steubenville.
"A lot of people know us for our patio furniture. We make adult and children furniture that is treated or untreated, personalized or painted. We do what the customer wants," said Shaw.
"The Jeffco Workshop has been coming here since the show first started. Today we were here 15 minutes and already had an order placed for patio furniture. Our display is nice because customers can look at what we have for sale and can sit down and get the feel of the chairs. This is an excellent opportunity for us," Shaw added.
Danny Greathouse, a Hancock County Commissioner and executive director of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Center agreed with Shaw.
"I am here with my wife shopping for things for our home and also helping at our CVB booth. I am interesting in landscaping and my wife is looking at the flooring products. We also enjoy looking at the new items on the market. This is a great event for people from throughout the Ohio Valley because we have a variety of businesses here this weekend," declared Greathouse.
Over at the Top of West Virginia booth Alecia Sirk was busy handing out brochures and small magnets.
"We have a lot of information available for everyone and I enjoy meeting people and talking to them about our state," Sirk said.
Kay Kuzma of Steubenville had just walked through the front doors of the Cultural Center and said she was, "overwhelmed by everything to see."
"There is so much to see inside and outside. It will take some time to see everything. But this is a nice way to spend some time," stated Kuzma.
(Gossett can be contacted at email@example.com)