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There's no place like home show this weekend

Source: The Bakersfield Californian
Publish Date: Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Summary: Are you a homeowner, an aspiring homeowner or an outdoor enthusiast feeling plagued and limited by the poor economy blues?

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By Louis Medina

May 27, 2008 (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News delivered by Newstex) -- Are you a homeowner, an aspiring homeowner or an outdoor enthusiast feeling plagued and limited by the poor economy blues?

Not to worry: Tony Manes, promotions director with American General Media, has the perfect restorative shot in the arm for you: the fourth annual Home, Recreation & Leisure Show, which AGM is putting on this weekend at the Kern County Fairgrounds.

Manes was quick to list a number of reasons why the show may be just the picker-upper you're looking for:

--"It's free, for one thing."

--"We have so many vendors (150) and I think that's a great way to one-stop shop," he said. "We've got boats. We've got RVs. We've got landscaping." There will also be outdoor barbecue grills and pits as well as kitchens, baths and other displays, he said.

Tina Zimmermann, an AGM account executive, said some of this year's vendors include Dan Gamel's RV Center, Stier's RV, Mirage Putting Greens, Hard Rock Countertops, Castaic Boat & Marine, Advanced Plumbing and Davis Home Improvements.

--Manes and Zimmermann also highlighted a new attraction this year: a series of seminars on travel, gardening and real estate. The economy affects businesses just as it does consumers, Manes said; and seminars, which often inspire attendees with cost-saving ideas, are also a way to get potential customers interested in what vendors have to sell.

As for entertainment, seven radio stations from American General Media, including the Spanish-language KEBT 96.9 FM, "La Caliente," will be doing live broadcasts from the fairgrounds.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, Mexican-born mariachi singer Gerardo Fernandez will be performing and signing autographs for the crowds, according to Ricky Perez, La Caliente's program director. (He said Fernandez is the brother of popular singer and actor Pedrito Fernandez. The brothers were given their start by -- and took the name of -- the king of mariachi, Vicente Fernandez, who will be performing to a sold-out crowd at the Rabobank Arena Saturday night, Perez said.)

Manes said there will be plenty of treats for sale at the fairgrounds, including snow cones, hot dogs and soft drinks.

And kids will also be able to enjoy both tame and rambunctious fun, Zimmermann said, thanks to some animals CALM will be bringing to the show, as well as a pay-to-play laser tag area.

AGM hopes the attractions will draw some 5,000 people to the show this year, Manes said. Last year's attendance was 4,100.

"We're trying to take small steps to make it bigger and bigger each year. But the main thing is to get a lot of good vendors out there and I think we've done a pretty good job of that."

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