Setup is underway Friday for the first major indoor event in downtown Fort Myers since the onset of the pandemic.
The Home & Garden Show Fort Myers will take place Saturday as the first event in the newly remodeled Caloosa Sound Convention Center in downtown Fort Myers.
We got a look inside as vendors prepared to serve the community.
For months, there’s been something missing on streets of downtown Fort Myers — people. Sure, there’s some loyalists who’ve braved COVID-19 to support the city’s small businesses and restaurants. But this weekend, the downtown area’s comeback will be underway.
“It is an honor to be the first one back,” said David Pardi, the event director.
The Home and Garden Show will open the newly renovated Caloosa Sound Convention Center. Twenty-four years ago, the same event opened the Harborside Events Center.
“The local vendors are excited, and they just can’t wait,” Pardi said.
Like hundreds of other local companies, Marlins Construction Group had to shut down during the pandemic.
“It’s always hard for everybody, but, like I tell the guys, just stay strong. It’s going to get better,” said Kris Rossman, the director of communication at Marlins Construction Group.
Now, they’re waiting for people to return to downtown.
“Obviously, if you’re in any kind of business, you’re in a slump, having the opportunity to be a local-based company to come here and talk to people and meet people is great,” Rossman said.
Doors open at 10 a.m. Saturday. This year’s Home & Garden Show will look different. There will hand sanitizer everywhere. Everyone must wear a mask and keep their social distance where ever possible.
“I’ve known some of these guys for 10 years, so we’re like family to them,” Pardi said. “And it’s just a good experience to be able to see them again and be able to help them support their family.”
The Caloosa Sound Convention Center & Amphitheater is located in downtown Fort Myers at 1375 Monroe St. The show will run Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free for anyone under the age of 18.