Start making plans for chamber’s annual Feb. home show

By KAITLYN NAPLES
STAFF WRITER
For the past 29 years, the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce and Jenks Productions have been hosting the perfect way to get rid of cabin fever and think about the spring. The 29th annual Bristol Home & Business Expo will be held on Feb. 22 and 23, and will include vendors from all over the state, and from all kinds of industries. The home show brings in vendors from all areas like home improvement, financial services, personal electronics, roofing and siding, interior design, health and wellness, and many other consumer goods.
Linda DiMatteo, executive assistant to the president, and vice president of events and administrator of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce said the Exchange Club will be providing food options for vendors and the public, Bristol Hospital will be at the home show as well as Home Depot, and anyone still interested in signing up for a booth should contact Jenks Productions, Inc. at (860)563-2111.
“After a long winter, I can’t think of a better way to get out of the house” than the home show, especially to find new ideas about spring improvement projects, DiMatteo added.
Since it was such a success last year, there will be another craft fair at this year’s home show, thanks to Joan Simpson, the organizer of the event who is also known as “The Pumpkin Roll Lady.”
This year’s craft will be featuring only hand-made items, like handcrafted clocks, birdhouses, dips, honey products, soaps, fleece tied blankets, jams, candles, bottled juices, bags, jewelry, and much more.
One highlight of the craft fair is The Crazy Coupon Chick who has been featured on television shows like Better Connecticut. Simpson said she will be doing demonstrations of what her classes are like, and also will be having individuals sign up for future classes. Simpson said she went to one of the classes where she learned how to organize coupons, and find deals in various stores.
This year’s craft fair will be set up in the hallway at Bristol Eastern High School so guests can wander through the gymnasiums to the home improvement booths, and stop by craft vendors along the way.
“We had such a positive response last year,” Simpson said, adding many individuals were happy to see other vendors in addition to home improvement. She said guests were pleased to see more of a variety of items to look at and be able to shop around.
Simpson said there are a lot of unique vendors this year that she has discovered after being involved in the craft fair scene for several years. Simpson has taken the lead in organizing several craft fairs just in Bristol alone. One unique vendor is coming from Watertown is The Humble Bee Honey Company, who provides more than just items made from local honey but also is able to educate on the process and benefits of honey. The Humble Bee Honey Company is a member of the Connecticut Beekeepers Association, and all of its hives are registered with the state’s Department of Agriculture. 
The Bristol Home & Business Expo will be held at Bristol Eastern High School, 632 King St., Bristol on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $2 for children ages six to 11, and children under 5-years-old are free.