Garden show helps shops: Event promotes area businesses, downtown market


Christie Gilbert found everything she needed for her backyard project Saturday morning.

A trip to a big box store was not needed as Gilbert was one of many to attend the annual Seymour Main Street Lawn, Garden and Patio Show in downtown Seymour.

She pulled a wagon filled with an assortment of plants and a few yard decorations.

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“I needed some new landscaping in my backyard,” said Gilbert, who recently purchased a new home.

With more than 30 booths featuring plants, produce, outdoor decorations, equipment and more, Gilbert said she always finds just what she needs at the event each year.

“I go every year and really love it,” she said. “I normally buy this many plants.”

Becky Schepman, executive director of Seymour Main Street, said the event is for people looking for ways to spruce up their lawns and outdoor living spaces for summer.

“It’s great to see people walk up with their wagons ready to get flowers and everything they need,” she said. “We’ve had this event for a long time and I think people know they can count on it and they can come here and get everything they need and be set for the year.”

The event was the perfect opportunity for 9-year-old Tyce Hardwick of Seymour to get his mother a gift. Hardwick stopped by the event with Hannah Eckstein while his mother, Katrina, was running in the Seymour Half Marathon.

“My mom will like this one,” Hardwick told Eckstein after picking out a flower at Darlage’s Greenhouse booth. “She’s running now and she will like it at the end.”

While the event helps people get their yards in order, Seymour Main Street also uses the event as a way to market the downtown.

The organization focuses on promoting local businesses and revitalizing the downtown district. Schepman said the Lawn, Garden and Patio Show draws more people downtown, which gives them an opportunity to discover those businesses.

“I think these kinds of events are nice because it kind of draws people downtown for the event that they know is always going to be going on, but then they realize there is a new boutique downtown,” Schepman said. “This event helps keep downtown on top of everyone’s mind.”

It was a busy day for the downtown, as Saturday also marked the first of four planned Downtown-Shop-Around days, where customers can get rewarded for visiting downtown businesses by getting a card punched for each store they visit. Patrons can turn in the cards to local stores and are entered into a drawing for gift certificates.

“We have 15 stores that are participating,” Schepman said.

By encouraging people to visit multiple stores downtown, it gives them an opportunity to visit shops they have never been to or even heard about, she added.

“People have always bought shoes at Norm’s Footwear, which has been established for a long time, but a newer store, like Lea Boutique, might be something they don’t know about yet.”

Scheduling the Lawn, Garden and Patio Show and the Downtown Shop Around on the same day can draw people to spend more time downtown, she added.

“I think it helps keep the flow of traffic downtown,” she said. “I’m one of those people where I make a day of shopping and this kind of event helps you do that.”

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