The annual Duquesne Light Home & Garden Show is still on, officials said Monday.
Show Executive Director John DeSantis said the 10-day event is planned for April instead of its usual March time slot. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the show is planned for April 9-18 at the David Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.
“We slid it back a month in anticipation of going forward with the show,” DeSantis said. “We’ve been watching (the covid-19) numbers week to week. We feel like the extra month will allow us to have a show close to normal. Because if the show can’t be close to what people are used to seeing, and it’s not recognizable, then we wouldn’t want to do it.”
DeSantis said he and his staff have been working to set up a timed entry system to help control crowd sizes. They have created a wide-open floor plan, utilizing the entire 1 million square feet of space in the convention center. Areas usually reserved for seating and dining can be used for vendors. They’ve made the aisles wider and are considering one-way traffic. DeSantis said they still are deciding whether they can safely have seminars and stage presentations.
“Our exhibitors have been amazing,” DeSantis said. “Many of them have been with us for 40 years and are willing to do whatever they can to keep everyone safe. Masks will be required, of course.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review
The 40th annual Duquesne Light Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show was moved from March to April at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.
The event is the largest home show in Pennsylvania. It normally covers 10 acres, includes more than 1,800 exhibits and welcomes 350,000 people over 10 days. DeSantis said he plans to have the “vast majority” of exhibitors.
With so many people spending the past year at home because of the pandemic, DeSantis said, the consumer demand for a home show is strong: They’ve noticed areas of the house that need repairing. The home show’s buyer’s guide, created at the end of last year’s event (cut short with the onset of the pandemic), is available on the website.
“People still need a way to figure out what contractor to hire or which appliance will work best for them,” said DeSantis. “They need advice about their garden and that deck they want to build. I bet this spring and summer, people will be doing a lot of projects around the house.”
He said, by early March, it will be clear if the show can go on close to normal, allowing him enough time to follow through on preparations.
Last year, the event was into its second week when organizers shut it down for the final weekend, as the pandemic took hold. Mayor Bill Peduto declared a state of emergency for the city and prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people. The day before, Duquesne Light, the title sponsor of the show, pulled its employees from the event.
Regarding this year’s show, Duquesne Light officials on Monday said they are having “continued discussions” with the show’s organizers.
“Given the ongoing pandemic, the health and safety of our employees, customers and the community will be top of mind as we decide on our involvement this year,” Duquesne Light said in a statement.
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