Brisk attendance at Home Show a healthy sign

We’re used to looking for signs of spring, particularly after a grueling winter.

This year, not only did we welcome every sign of spring that entered our field of vision, we also have been counting the signs that this terrible pandemic we’ve navigated for more than a year is easing its harsh blow.

To that end, we spotted over the weekend the 61st West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association Home Show.

We wanted to throw the word “annual” into the name of the event. For decades, it was an annual event.

But the year 2020 interrupted that, with a statewide stay at home order issued by Gov. Tom Wolf even as vendors filled the event venue with displays, booths and excitement for the economic boost the Home Show traditionally represents.

Rather than welcoming visitors to the event, vendors in March 2020 could be seen lugging their materials away from the venue, only hours after they had set up.

The statewide lockdown was just beginning. A massive hit to the economy was in store.

What followed has been a nightmare, with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty over the future — for individuals as well as businesses.

Hope was placed on finding ways to mitigate the coronavirus until a safe and effective vaccine could be developed, manufactured and distributed throughout society.

Now, more than a year later, that vaccine is being pumped out to a degree that Pennsylvania has been able to slowly reopen, still with safety protocols in place for continued masking, hand washing and social distancing.

Now, events that were postponed are returning after a year’s absence. This past weekend, that included the Home Show.

“It’s been a long and challenging year,” said James Hoffman of the builders association.

That is so true, on so many levels. And so we see it as a great sign that Home Show attendance was brisk and the Lycoming Mall parking lot was packed outside of the former BonTon store where the event was staged.

Our hope would be that the boost the association desires from this event will pay dividends that will ripple out through the economy in the weeks and months ahead.


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