In 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 restrictions canceled the New Orleans Home & Garden Show, just as people yearned to improve their homes to suit their changing needs. As the show prepares to return March 11-13 in the Caesars Superdome, that irony isn’t lost on show manager Mike Zalaznik.
“We are coming back stronger than ever,” he said. “We have everything in there that you would need for your home or garden — whether it be windows, doors, flooring, landscaping, plumbing or furniture — you name it. … It’s a one-stop shop.”
The sprawling extravaganza, sponsored by Entergy and put on by the Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans, will display the latest trends in home security, kitchen renovation and outdoor landscaping, along with top-notch technology products.
When crafting the concept, Zalaznik said he and his team were discussing COVID-19 and the notion that people have been cooped up in their homes.
The theme is “Come Back to What You Remember.”
“Their house has been their sanctuary for the last couple of years. In being in your house that long, you want to improve it,” he said, explaining that the show is “a chance to come back to what you remember in the Dome.”
“It’s mingling, meeting with people, and getting your projects finished and finalized,” he said.
Zalaznik said many people who attend are building or renovating their home, or maybe even revamping their backyard.
“They’ve got some kind of project in mind, and this is the only place that you can get hands-on with all of these products, and meet with the experts who install them and manufacture them,” he said.
The home and garden show is divided into several sections.
First is the Bark Park, featuring adoptable dogs and training demonstrations, because “dogs are very much part of your family these days.” Later, attendees will encounter an orchid and tropical plant sale; outdoor kitchens with chefs in action; and myriad landscaped lawns.
The Bayou Battle of the Build — completed before the show — saw carpentry and design teams from local colleges and high schools engage in friendly competition by designing and building furniture and other items. Their finished products will be displayed and auctioned during the show, with proceeds benefiting the participating schools.
“Everyone in the building industry is hiring right now; they are all begging for people,” Zalaznik said. “Bayou Battle of the Build is a way for us to get kids involved in the building industry, to see that there’s a path to success in the building industry.”
The show also partnered with Outdoor Cedar Solutions to raffle off a 10-foot by 20-foot cedar pergola, retailing for about $15,000.
Those affected by Hurricane Ida can get help through a segment called Ida Answers. Companies and government agencies will host seminars and Q&A sessions centered on storm recovery.
Zalaznik is looking forward to the reunion of sorts, and the chance to provide an economic boost for participating businesses.
“A lot of the vendors know each other, and they work with each other on a business and on a personal level, so it will be great to see everyone,” he said. “The show is an economic driver for a lot of these businesses that are in it. Most of the businesses are local and they depend on the show for commerce.”
New Orleans Home & Garden Show
What: The 65th annual show, back after a two-year absence
When: March 11 from noon to 7 p.m.; March 12 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; March 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Caesars Superdome
Admission: $15, $10 for first responders and military with ID. Children free.