Strong attendance at Home Show

NEW ULM – The 33rd annual Home & Self Improvement Show wrapped up Sunday with a total attendance over the three days of more than 12,000 visitors.

The event featured 174 booths in the New Ulm Civic Center.

One theme that emerged among the booths, which showcased everything from construction to siding to interior design, was an upswing in people interested in purchasing items for home improvement projects.

Booths featuring landscaping, interior design or construction for items like patios reported seeing big upswings from 2012. Questions asked by the prospective customers indicated many were ready to start construction. In 2012, the attitude seemed more interested in browsing.

However, a few exhibitors reported a slight downward trend. The siding booths noted a decline in interest, but attributed it to prior years being abnormally high due to demand for hail damage repair following a major storm.

One new exhibit that drew a sizable crowd Sunday outside the exhibit hall was a petition relating to Asian carp. Two large carcasses of the species of Asian carp invading Minnesota rivers were displayed.

The Southern Minnesota Asian Carp Coalition hosted the exhibit. The organization is seeking 10,000 signatures on a petition to have the state install electric barriers in Minnesota rivers. The barriers will be used to stun or knock out fish traveling upstream to keep them from spreading into more waters. The group seeks to have the Department of Natural Resources net the fish stunned, but not killed, by the barrier to move the native fish beyond it and remove the Asian carp it stops.

The table drew just over 1,000 signatures, and the organization has just over 2,000 signature so far. The signatures are prerequisite requirement from the state government before it can take any action.