Friday's scene in and around H. Odell Weeks Activities Center included plenty of slow-moving traffic, with hundreds of visitors on hand for the fifth annual Aiken Standard Home and Garden Show, featuring input from such creators and vendors as Hixon's Roofing, Posey Home Improvement, Fresh Air Limited and Miss Bea's Pickles.
"It was a very good day for the people around me. They did a lot of good business and I did a lot of good business. It was better than usual, actually," said massage therapist Steve Timmerman, with Herbal Solutions.
This year's event is mostly indoors, in a gymnasium, but a few organizations have their displays outside. Activities are to conclude today, running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This year's sponsor is DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen, owned and operated by J.D. and Cheryl Norris. J.D. confirmed that he "had some serious inquiries today" – a pleasant surprise in terms of the quantity, he noted.
He said DreamMaker tends to operate three months in advance, due to the need for several weeks to design, order and plan projects, so the major impact of COVID-19 was not immediate to his business, as some work was already well underway.
The second quarter of 2020, in terms of the flow of business, brought a "hiccup," he added. "However, after that, people got used to the new norm and they began to call on a steady basis, so the last two quarters of the year were quite busy."
Other vendors included Julie Steen, who was offering Avon products as well as her own handmade jewelry creations.
"I thought the crowd was good, and … I think people were eager to be out and about, given everything going in in the world. I certainly enjoyed talking to and meeting people at both of my booths," she said.
Among other organizations on board for this year's presentation are Cold Creek Nurseries, Mack's Poppin' Kettle Korn, Shady Lady, Sweet Cream Treats, Power Bikes and LeafGuard of Columbia.
Admission is cash-only, and benefits the Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County, with admission for anyone 12 or older being based on a $1 donation in support of the organization.