GREAT FALLS — When the doors opened Friday afternoon, people immediately made their way into the 2021 Great Falls Home and Garden Show.
For the scores of vendors, it was a chance to network with clients and potential customers, and do a month’s worth of advertising all from behind their booth.
There was only one way in and one way out: "That was just something the health department set up. It helps with crowd control,” explained Katie Hanning, Great Falls Home Builders Association executive officer.
Hanning said the show and some of the vendors are making extra efforts to try to keep people safe. "A lot of the vendors have expanded their booths so you feel comfortable going in. We've added six more hours to the show, so everyone can come. If you get here and it's a little busy and you want to come back later, we will accommodate that,” Hanning explained.
Hanning also encouraged people to be mindful of the fact that the county's COVID restrictions have been lifted. “If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you don't want to wear a mask, don't, but let's respect each other,” said Hanning.
Cascade City-County Health Director Trisha Gardner says the health department is prepared to do contact tracing after the show if necessary: "We still have a number of temporary staff available to do contact tracing."
As for whether the outcome of the show could impact how the CCHD handles other events in the county? Gardner said, "Moving forward, in absolutes, if we really do see a whole bunch of cases come out of something like this, yeah, we'll be re-evaluating what that looks like moving forward. I do have to say though the Home and Garden Show, they've been phenomenal. they have thought of many different precautions."
Hanning said she is confident people will make good choices and the show would be just fine.
DATES AND TIMES OF THE HOME & GARDEN SHOW
Friday, March 26: Noon to 8 pm
Saturday, March 27: 10 am to 8 pm
Sunday, March 28: 10 am to 4 pm
ADMISSION TO THE SHOW
Admission is $5.00 and children under 18 are free when accompanied by an adult.