By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Since its launch five years ago, the Mount Pleasant Home & Garden Show measures up as an informative, productive, convivial and intimate fall event.

What the three-day fest may have lacked, however, concerns the intangibles; things that turn a take-it-or-leave-it show into a destination attraction.

Arguably, the display had been short on engaging sidelights: food, music, special features. Moreover, the event charged an entry fee, albeit just $5 a person.

So in 2013, sponsor Charleston Home Builders Association set out to elevate the East Cooper show from a status that might be dubbed “undoubtedly worthwhile” to one that’s hard-to-miss.

“We just want people to come out and have a good time, enjoy the show, enjoy the food and music. We want to make it an event,” says Phillip Ford, the association’s executive vice president.

Among the new features for the 2013 show Oct. 18-20 at Omar Shrine Temple:

• Free admission daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. as well as parking at no charge.

• Food truck rodeo, with four participating mobile eateries; and live music Saturday and Sunday noon-4 p.m. in the show parking lot.

• An enhanced edition of Wine Tasting by Bottles 1-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday inside the show.

The home and garden show will showcase presenting sponsor Lucey Mortgage, five show sponsors — Carolina Lanterns & Lighting, Muhler, Swift Appliance, Mevers Kitchen & Bath Studio and Charleston Style & Design — and 46 exhibitors.

According to organizers, show-goers can “check out the latest trends in outdoor living spaces, kitchen-bath, landscaping and more.”

Manning the booths will be professional builders, remodelers and specialty contractors to manufacturers and sellers of “everything imaginable” for inside and outside the home.

Attendees will find the latest products and services for building, remodeling, landscaping and interior design. They can compare product prices, benefits and features — all under one roof, organizers say. Patrons also can take advantage of at-show “specials” offered by many exhibitors.

Also daily, Clemson (Extension Service) Master Gardeners will man a bookstore, head up educational seminars and provide on-hand consultants to help homeowners enhance their gardens and landscaping. Eight experts will hold workshops on nine different topics.

Ford says the show can aid “anybody who’s building a new home or remodeling a home. You might just be adding a pool; it doesn’t have to be a full-blown (restoration).”

For more information, contact Ford at pford@charlestonhomebuilders.org; marketing director Rachel Jeffeaux at rachel@charlestonhomebuilders.org or the HBA office at 843-572-1414.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker at postandcourier.com.

MOUNT PLESANT HOME & GARDEN SHOW AT A GLANCE:

Producer: Charleston Home Builders Association.

Dates: Oct. 18-20.

Location: Omar Shrine Temple, Mount Pleasant.

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Admission, parking: Free.

Features:

• Food Truck Rodeo. Participating Food Trucks: Auto-Banh, Dulce Truck, Low Country Creole, Geechee Island Food Truck. Saturday and Sunday noon-4 p.m. home show parking lot.

• Live music. Various entertainment, Saturday noon-4 p.m. home show parking lot; Ronnie Johnson and Dale Baker from Buddy Roes Shrimp Shack, Sunday 1-4 p.m. home show parking lot.

• Wine tasting. Wine Tasting by Bottles, 1-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday inside the home show.

• Exhibitors (alphabetical order). Amerisips Homes, Aqua Blue Pools, Atkinson Pools & Spas LLC, Bank of America, Cantey Foundation Specialist, Carolina Lanterns, Charleston Gamerooms, CNT Foundations LLC, C.T. Lowndes & Co., Cutco Cutlery, Dr. Energy Saver, Dynair Industries (Rainbow Home Cleaning Systems), Express Sunrooms, HLG Growers, Homewerx LLC, Infinger Furniture, I.T.S.C. – Directv, K+P Contracting LLC, Kitchen Craft, Kohler Moving & Storage, Leafguard of the Lowcountry, Lucey Mortgage, Mevers Kitchen & Bath, Mount Pleasant Magazine, Muhler Company, New Leaf Tree Service, Outdoor Lighting Perspective, Palmetto Exterminators, Palmetto Surfacing, Plugs Appliance, Power Plus Systems, Pro Roofing, Quality Products, Renaissance South Construction Co., Slide-Lok Garage Interiors, Solar Energy Solutions of the Lowcountry, Spade Crete, Special Addition, Strock Enterprises Design & Remodel, Structures Building Company, Sunview General Contracting, TD Bank, The Louvershop, Touch of Purple and XimoRocks/Cookie Lee Jewelry. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

• Gardening tips. The Tri-County Master Gardeners will be on hand to take soil samples, answer gardening questions and have some favorite plants and books for sale. There will also be gardening presentations ongoing throughout the weekend. Courses/times:

Friday, Oct. 18

11 a.m., Donna Powell; “Personal Hydroponics Garden – Indoor gardening using a liquid nutrient media.”

1 p.m., Jim Strohm; “Keeping Bees in the Lowcountry.”

3 p.m., Ron Coffey; “Fall Soil Preparation for the Spring Garden.”

Saturday, Oct. 19

11 a.m., Mike Dixon; “Easy Lawn Care – How to avoid turf problems.”

1 p.m., Joan McDonald; “Cocktail, Mocktail and Tea Garden – Container gardening that will quench your thirst.”

3 p.m., Roxane Delaurell; “Herbs for the home garden.”

Sunday, Oct. 20

11 a.m., Darren Sheriff; “Camellia Primer – Getting started with Camellias.”

1 p.m., Darren Sheriff; “Oddball Fruits – Things out of the ordinary in the fruit world that will grow here.”

3 p.m., Katie Ellis; “Native plants for the home garden, ornamentals, edibles and ecosystem services.”

More information: rachel@charlestonhomebuilders.org, pford@charlestonhomebuilders.org, 843-572-1414.