FRYEBURG, Maine — The Home Garden Flower Show with Cannabis, which took place May 17-19, was an unqualified success, according to the show’s producer and associate publisher of The Conway Daily Sun, Joyce Brothers.
“Attendance this year was up more than 20 percent, and the vendors were very happy,” said Brothers. “The show exceeded our expectations.”
This was only the second year the Sun has produced the show, which has been held at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds for the past dozen years between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekends.
A first for this year was the multi-day ticket that allowed entry all three days.
A highlight of this year’s show was the appearance of the stars of the network reality TV show "Maine Cabin Masters."
Home show attendees waited in line 45 minutes to meet Chase Morrill of Wayne Maine, his sister Ashley Morrill-Eldridge, and her husband, Ryan Eldridge and get their photo taken with them.
“They were great,” said Brothers. “They were patient and gracious and greeted each and every person like they were long-lost friends.”
Music was also introduced to the show for the first time this year.
Jonathan Sarty played Friday, the Carolyn Ramsay Trio on Saturday and Sarty returned Sunday with his country band.
"With full glasses of beer and wine available, hundreds of the show's attendees took a break from shopping and eating to listen to music and relax," said Brothers.
The food court was a bona-fide hit this year. Attendees enjoyed a variety of items offered by 13 food trucks and vendors, included wood-fired pizza, barbecue, fish and chips and some traditional fair food like fried dough and mini-doughnuts.
Last year, the show introduced vendors selling cannabis-related products, and like in 2018, the Cannabis Building enjoyed incredible popularity.
“We live in a new world, and it is a little head-turning to see older people walking out with hemp plants alongside their tomato seedlings,” said Brothers. (The cannabis plants are legal as they do not contain THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. The plants available at the show contained CBD and are used for medicinal purposes.)
The show's major sponsors were the North Conway Olive Oil Co., Dirfy Generators and The Glass Cook, and certainly the three businesses ticked many of the boxes for why attendees enjoyed the show. Products being exhibited ran the gamut from hot tubs to wood stoves to goat's milk soap.
Plans are already underway for next year and include more of everything: vendors, food and music, said Brothers.
“All in all, it was great way to spend a spring afternoon — whether you went Friday, Saturday or Sunday — and we plan to grow and improve the show every year,” she said.