Annual Chamber Home Show Off and Running

Outdoor storage barns, wooden swings, landscaping equipment and a collection of cats looking for homes are among the displays at the 44th annual Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show.

“We have 110 vendors, including 30 craft vendors and 80 traditional home show vendors,” said Chamber President Terry Sterling shortly after cutting the ribbon Friday to officially open the show on the floor of Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena. “People feel the show gives them good exposure. Plus, you can come in here to forget about the snow and think about spring.”

Clay Croskey, sales manager for DeNoon Lumber, said sponsoring the Wheeling show for the past few years has helped his Bergholz, Ohio-based business.

“The Wheeling people are great. We do a lot of business down this way, and we feel strongly about this show,” he said.

Chris Ponzani, owner of The Ponzani Landscaping Co., and Gabe Hays, owner of Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, have a collaborative working relationship in the areas of designing and building. Both believe strongly in the Wheeling show.

“It is pretty productive – one of the best in the area,” Ponzani said, and Hays agreed.

Also at the show is a booth for the Webark Estates Animal Shelter. Volunteer Ashley Blinco said her organization works to find homes for cats and dogs that would otherwise be forgotten.

“Most of them are so loving,” she said of the felines. “We just want to spread the word and hopefully find a few homes for some of them.”

Sterling said many of the vendors have told him they have seen an increase in business over the past year, noting they believe it could be due to the vast Marcellus and Utica shale drilling boom taking hold in the area.

“People are doing a lot of housing additions now because of some of the oil and gas lease money they are getting,” he said.