The Everett Home & Garden Show, which has been held at the Angel of the Winds Arena since 2003, is canceled this year due to COVID-19. (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

The Everett Home & Garden Show, which has been held at the Angel of the Winds Arena since 2003, is canceled this year due to COVID-19. (Sara Bruestle / The Herald)

COVID-19 outbreak slams the door shut on Everett’s home show

Home-improvement business owners say the cancelation is a big hit for them, but understand why it’s necessary.

The coronavirus outbreak’s sweeping toll on Snohomish County businesses has extended to one of the city’s most important events: the Everett Home & Garden Show.

The show, which was expected to attract about 300 exhibitors and more than 16,000 visitors during its March 13-15 run at Angel of the Winds Arena, has been canceled.

Event producer Jim Ashe canceled the show March 6, five days before Gov. Jay Inslee banned events with 250 or more attendees. By then, about 30 exhibitors already had dropped out.

Ashe said he followed the Snohomish Health District’s recommendations on dealing with the fast-spreading virus, which included canceling events with more than 50 attendees. As of Thursday afternoon, COVID-19 had sickened hundreds and killed at least 30 in Washington. Three Snohomish County residents have died.

“When you’re talking one-on-one about remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, or about putting on a new roof, you’re in close proximity,” Ashe said. “Staying home or at least staying away from crowds may be the best thing to do at this point.”

In 31 years, Ashe said, he’s never had to reschedule a show. He said it was not an easy decision.

“We had a lot of disappointed people who really wanted to do the show because it’s such a prime area, but they all understood why we did it and they were all very grateful for that,” Ashe said. “They also told me they’ll come back next year.”

One exhibitor to cancel before Inslee’s ban was NW Quality Remodel and Deck in Snohomish.

“I just didn’t want to put our customers and staff at risk,” said Robert King, NW Quality Remodel and Deck CEO. “It’s in the best interest of the public to limit exposure.”

King said the company managed to land about 30 customers at last year’s show. He said it helps that they have the technology to take a customer’s idea and turn it into a 2D model for them right there.

“It’s really unfortunate that this has happened,” he said. “That we’re all exposed to it, and the risk involved, and the fact that they don’t really know a whole lot about it yet.”

Snohomish County Master Gardeners Foundation had five master gardeners scheduled to speak at the show, in addition to keynote speaker Trevor Cameron of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.

“We were actually a little relieved, I won’t lie about it,” master gardener Sheila McKinnon said. “It’s not something that we were looking forward to canceling. We had to do the best we could to support (Ashe) if the show must go on, but we were quite relived that he decided to pull the plug. Under the circumstances, I do think that that was the right thing to do.”

McKinnon questions if 250 attendees is the right number. She said WSU Extension, under which Snohomish County Master Gardeners operates, has prohibited the group from holding meetings with more than 15 members. They’re instead encouraged to use Zoom, video conference software that allows up to 300 to dial in to a meeting.

She said the foundation sees Zoom as a way to reschedule the last three speakers in its “Sustainable Gardening Winter Speaker Series.” The lectures to be rescheduled are Marilyn Glenn’s on “How to Select, Grow and Prune Clematis, the Queen of the Vines,” Dan Hinkley’s talk on “Forgotten Elements of Good Design,” and Jairul Rahaman’s on “Plants and Fungi: A Match Made in Heaven.” Call 425-357-6010 or go to for more.

“This week we’re actually learning to use the platform,” she said. “Before we have 300 people dialing in, it would be nice to know how to make it work.”

Deb Varner, who operates Granite Transformations in Mukilteo with her husband, said they’ve had a booth at the show for the past 16 years, and get about 10% of their business from it.

Varner called the lost business “somewhat worrisome,” but said she understands that health and safety must come first.

“COVID-19 is potentially very dangerous, especially to the elderly and compromised populations, so we will defer to the public health experts on what the right thing to do is,” she said.

She said Granite Transformations is looking into alternative marketing and ways to expand its online presence. For example, it’s offering in-home and Face Time consultations. It’s also sanitizing granite samples.

“I’m very concerned,” Varner said. “This is a tenuous time for all small businesses.”

Another exhibitor to cancel before Inslee’s ban was Snohomish County PUD.

“Whatever we’re doing, we’re mindful of the challenges posed by this virus and of the anxiety that it generates as well,” said Cayle Thompson, a Snohomish County PUD spokesman.

The Everett Home & Garden Show isn’t the only event the PUD might miss. Next month it’s partnering with the city of Everett to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Thompson said that event may also need to be canceled.

The outbreak has forced the cancelation of home and garden-related events in Island and Skagit counties.

The Whidbey Gardening Workshop, which had been scheduled for March 13 and 14 at Oak Harbor High School, has been called off. More than 45 classes and four field trips had been planned. Go to to learn more.

The Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association’ Home & Garden Show, slated for March 27-29 at the Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon, also is canceled. Go to for more information.

If you go

Mark your calendars: Next year’s Everett Home & Garden Show will be noon to 6 p.m. March 12, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 13 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 14 at the Angel of the Winds Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett. Go to for more information.

Talk to us

More in Life

Brian Geppert holds a birdhouse made of skis at his home in Lynnwood, Washington on Saturday, March 11, 2023. Geppert started a recycling program for the greater Seattle area, which has saved hundreds of skis from their demise. He turns the skis into functional art for the home, such as coat racks, bottle openers, bookends, shelves, candle sconces, toilet plungers, beer flights, and more. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Boeing engineer turns old ski gear into household essentials

If Lynnwood’s Brian Geppert isn’t on the slopes, then he’s turning skis into coat racks and bottle openers.

Give your home some extra love with a deep clean this spring. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Roll up your sleeves and tackle these 15 spring cleaning steps

A lot of work? Sure. But it beats paying $800 for a cleaning service to do all this stuff.

What to do when a co-worker makes you miserable

It’s counterintuitive, but you need to get to know that person better. You don’t need to be friends — just understand them better.

Lyft charged her $150 for mud stains in a car. But she didn’t do it!

Debbie Kim is shocked to find a $150 charge from Lyft on her credit card. What did she do — and is there a way to undo it?

In this side-by-side image, the Totem Diner and Pacific Stone Company signs put on a flirty display for all to see Wednesday, March 22, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Signs of love on Rucker Ave: blushing rocks, scrambled eggs, a coffee date

Messages on display on Totem Family Diner and Pacific Stone Co. signs reveal “secret crushes.” More updates expected.

Comedian Jeff Dye is scheduled to do a show March 25 in Everett. (Associated Press)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Comedian Jeff Dye does a set in Everett on Saturday. And country star Tracy Byrd performs locally Friday.

Some of the brightest spots in my garden right now are my clumps of mixed crocuses. (Getty Images)
Lessons spring from what does and does not winter over

Taking stock of how your garden fared through the cold, wet months will help you plant for the future.

Antique mocha ware, made in England to export to the United States and Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries, caught collectors’ attention in the mid-20th century. Like many mocha pieces, this colorful mug is decorated with several patterns.
The name for decorated pottery like this can be deceiving

Mocha pottery is made from clay and features colorful patterns painted over a white glaze.

The 2023 Infiniti QX60 is powered by a V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. (Infiniti)
2023 Infiniti QX60 offers luxury at an attractive price

All four trim levels of this mid-size SUV come generously equipped with premium features as standard.

Most Read