EXHIBITS : ’94 Home Show Has Gadgets Galore


The Southern California Home and Garden Show at the Anaheim Convention Center, today through Aug. 21, is celebrating its 40th year with the addition of new displays, a better-organized floor plan and a more interactive approach to some of the traditional show exhibits.

“We want people to feel like they are an active part of the show,” said Pamela Heck, a spokeswoman for the event. “For instance, in the celebrity lifestyle rooms where we used to have the rooms roped off, we’re having events that the public can be a part of, such as interacting with Engelbert Humperdinck during a (live) karaoke sing-along.”

The show is a mixture of demonstrations and home-related products and exhibits. This year’s roster of demonstrations includes talks on home repair, cooking, gardening, crafts and interior design.

* The Green Thumb Theater will include presentations by Jim Wilson of PBS’ “Victory Garden” on Monday and Tuesday starting at 4:30 p.m. Other gardening topics include making the most of small yard space, outdoor crafts, composting and bonsai gardening.


* The Better Living Theater will have daily demonstrations and workshops on home improvements. Subjects include furniture refinishing, repair and upholstery, adding a fireplace, and trends in paint color. For cooks, John Crean and Barbara Venezia of TV’s “Home on the Range” will demonstrate their culinary talents on Aug. 20 and 21.

* New this year is the pet center with daily demonstrations on caring for a variety of pets. Today there will be talks on caring for rabbits. Dog training and pet therapy will be the topic on Sunday. A talk and demonstration on potbellied pigs will be featured Aug. 18, 19 and 21.

* Instead of a home built from straw, as was seen last year, a house made from a light-gauge steel frame will be featured. The frame is made of recycled steel and is termite-resistant, non-combustible and wind-resistant--all factors appealing to fire-wary Southern Californians. A house of 1,664 square feet will be open during the show.

Visitors considering changing kitchen or bath appliances and accessories will have an opportunity to purchase new items at the kitchen and bath “garage sale” sponsored by the Easter Seal Society of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. There is a $5 admission separate from the main show that can be applied toward any purchase at the garage sale. All proceeds will benefit Easter Seals.


One of the more unique household items for sale at the show is a system for washing hands with the clean water from a toilet tank. The Zippy Rinse system saves water by using the clean water that fills a toilet tank to wash hands after a flush and recycling that gray water back into the toilet bowl. The concept is not new and is used in Japan and Australia and is available here. But unlike other systems which require replacing the existing tank lid with one that is modified into a sink and faucet, the Zippy system rests on top of existing lids or can be hung on a nearby wall.

“We’ve taken that concept and thrown an artistic flair into it,” said Conrad Gonzales, one of the owners of the Zippy Rinse System. The system consists of a ceramic basin with a dolphin shaped faucet. A tube runs from the inside of the tank into the system.

“Besides saving water, it’s a great way to get kids in the habit of washing their hands every time they use the bathroom,” Gonzales said.

General admission to the Home and Garden Show is $7 for adults (ages 15 and older). Seniors (age 55 and older) are $5 ($3 on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16), juniors 8 to 14 are $3 and children 7 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. Show hours are Monday through Friday 2 to 10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (714) 978-8888 or (714) 708-1543.