BRISTOL - Visitors packed the annual Bristol Home & Business Expo Saturday to get ideas and items to make their lives more comfortable.
The two-day event has been a fixture in the city for 33 years, giving local and statewide businesses the chance to show potential customers what they have to offer, said organizers from the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Jenks Productions.
“It’s a way for us to help the community and get everyone out,” said Bristol Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Katie D’Agostino. “If you have a project, we have all types of businesses that can help. We have all sorts of things for every age whether it’s home improvement or you just want to have fun.”
Jenks Productions has organized the vendors each year, bringing local, statewide and national businesses with products designed to give homeowners and visitors a wide range of items and services to explore, said Wesley Jenks, company vice president.
“This show is important because meeting the people you’re going to do business with face to face is what homeowners want,” Jenks said. “Some of the contractors we have here have been in business as long as the show has been running.”
The number of vendors increased this year to around 150, Jenks said. Most were local, others national with a local presence, he said.
“We come every year,” said Bristol resident Phyllis Hart, who brought her friend Gloria Giovanelli, of Farmington. “We just walk around and look at everything. It’s wonderful. While we’re browsing, we always see something we need.”
Giovanelli enjoyed the show because there were lots of natural products to view. “I’ve actually won gift baskets coming to this show,” Giovanelli said. “It’s also nice that we can support local organizations with the raffles.”
Bristol firefighters handed out Frisbees to children and gave kids cups that change color depending on whether the beverage was hot or cold.
The Southington-based J.C. Tonnotti window and remodeling company gets a good portion of their spring sales by taking part in the show every year, said the company’s lead carpenter, Dave Magnoli. “We’ve been doing this show for 15 years and it’s one of our biggest,” Magnoli said.