With COVID-19 precautions strictly enforced, the 65th annual Spring Dispatch Home & Garden Show presented by Ohio Mulch is set for March 6-14 at the Ohio Expo Center’s Bricker Building.
Stephen Zonars, general manager of the show, said the theme for this year’s show is “Backyard Getaways.” The show will highlight how the hottest travel destinations are in residents’ own backyards, which has grown in relevance given the restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
Zonars said visitors will see the work of central Ohio landscape designers and get inspired to transform their own yards. There will be six gardens featured at the show: High Hammock, designed by Five Seasons Landscape Management; Rustic Spring Getaway by Oakland Nurseries; Night at the Movies by Hedge Landscape; Garden Party by Riepenhoff Landscape; Inside Outside: The Outdoor Rooms Experience by Seely’s Landscape Nursery; and It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere Garden by Landscape Design Solutions.
Zonars said each garden, organized by the Columbus Landscape Association and its members, covers a different aspect of the show’s overarching theme and tells a narrative that is bound to pique guests’ curiosity.
And given the effects the outbreak has had on Columbus’ small businesses, Zonars said it was important to work toward an in-person event, as many of them rely on the 65-year show to generate new customers.
“We didn’t want to let down the small business folks,” he said. “A lot of them suffered the last year, so we’re thrilled we can open our doors to folks who feel safe and comfortable attending.”
The event will take place in one building and will follow the same COVID-19 precautions used by retail stores currently operating.
There will be limited capacity, and organizers will enforce the use of masks, temperature checks for all workers, social distancing and contactless tickets.Only bottled non-alcoholic drinks will be sold this year as opposed to snacks and food.
When entering the Ohio Expo Center, all traffic will be routed through the 11th Avenue entrance for parking. Guests cannot enter the show from 17th Avenue this year.
Zonars said anyone who doesn’t feel safe should wait until next year’s event. But with the plan he and participating organizations put together, he’s confident guests will follow the protocols.
“I have faith in humankind,” he said. “I think people know these are unusual times and that our safe operating approach is based on what we all need to do to get through this next phase. So, I’m optimistic that we’re really not going to see a lot of problems.
The complete Safe Operating Plan can be found at www.DispatchHomeAndGardenShow.com.
Purchasing tickets online-only
Tickets are available online-only and guests must purchase tickets for a designated time slot. Attendees will be unable to enter the facility outside their appointed time.
To encourage guests to attend shows later in the day, adult tickets sold for 3 p.m. will include gifts guests can pick up at the show. For Saturday and Sunday, guests will receive one free ticket to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and for Tuesday through Friday, guests will receive one pair of gardening gloves.
Online tickets after-5 p.m. are the lowest-priced: $5 for adults and free for children. Each child is still required to have their own online ticket to enter. There will be “Thank You” tickets for military members, first responders, health-care workers and teachers Tuesday through Friday, who can receive one complimentary ticket online.
For more information about the event, visit dispatchhomeandgardenshow.com or follow the organization on Facebook or Instagram at @DispatchHGShow.