Success of Home & Garden Tour overwhelms

By Casey Lessard

Grand Bend Strip - July 2, 2008 - Denis Shackel and Mary Lynn Fluter 3448Bob Putherbough of the Grand Bend and Area Horticultural Society wrote us to tell us of the Home & Garden Tour’s outstanding success, which far exceeded anyone’s expectations.
“We had about 950 people,” he told the Strip. “We thought if we got up to 300, it would be fantastic.
“We had to cut the advanced sales off at 800, and we had to stop day-of sales just after 10 o’clock. We would have overwhelmed the homeowners if we had allowed any more.”
The July 5 tour featured five houses and eight gardens. Lunch was served at the Caddyshack at Grand Cove.
“Everyone is over the top with the numbers we got. We could only serve food to 800.
“I hired a policeman to be there for four hours; we heard on Sunday that a friend saw him just after he arrived, and she said he was like a deer in the headlights. He actually called in two of his buddies and we had three cruisers at times with flashing lights directing people across the street.”
Proceeds from the event go to the horticultural society’s activities maintaining flowerbeds in Grand Bend. One of the underpromoted aspects of the event was the fact that vendors – including artists and garden centres donating portions of their earnings – would be at some of the locations.
“We’ve learned a lot. We had vendors, but people didn’t know to come with money. The vendors did okay, but not nearly as well as they could have done if we had stressed there would be vendors here.”
The society will decide this week whether to run the event again next year. The success of the tour has to be weighed with the small number of volunteers available to help. Stay tuned for future plans.