Flagler Home & Lifestyle Show
The month of January signals changes across the county. It ushers in a New Year. Cold, Arctic air dips down into the Deep South bringing about nippy weather during the day, freezing temperatures at night, and sometimes, icicles hanging from orange trees. If it’s the fourth weekend in January in Flagler County, then it’s time for the Flagler Home & Lifestyle Show. An event that began with a few sponsors and a few vendors and took little time to walk about has transformed into an annual affair and had enjoyed continued success for the past twenty eight years. In short, the Flagler Home & Lifestyle Show is awesome!
For two days, Saturday and Sunday, local businesses, non-profit service groups, artisans, and culinary geniuses gather and line the hallways of the Flagler-Palm Coast High School campus. More cars fill the parking lots than during the rival football game between the FPC Bulldogs and the MHS Pirates. Large commercial tents, portable gazebos, and simple folding tables invite attendees to stroll across pavement and navigate a maze of vendor filled corridors in order to learn about businesses from A/C installation and repair to Zumba fitness classes. Service groups give locals the latest information about health care and emergency care. Artisans display paintings, beautiful glass wind-chimes, hand-crafted jewelry, and unique water fountains designed to look like wine flowing from its bottle to an inviting goblet. Many of the vendors are veteran participants and each year brings new faces and new booths. Although the location remains the same, the event’s landscape is ever changing; and, what once took an hour to take in, has now become an all-day event, complete with bounce houses for the kids.
A walk through the Flagler Home & Lifestyle Show is a walk through Flagler County. From the youngest child to the most senior citizen, there is something for everyone, including the family dog. It’s a great way to get to know the local officials as each office, from the County Commissioners to the County Sheriff, not only sponsor a booth, they staff it with the elected Commissioners and Sheriff officers. This year, Suzanne Johnston, Flagler County Tax Collector, featured a demonstration that allowed interested observers to experience “walking the line” while under the influence through a virtual mask designed by Drunk Busters. The simulation would give any driver pause and hopefully a better understanding of why officers perform duties designed to keep Flagler County roads safe. The artisans and service vendors offer the best glimpse of life in Flagler County.
Brilliant painting of lazy days at the beach, carved dolphins jumping with enthusiasm, neat leashes around friendly plush dogs, and wall hangings proclaiming “Just Another Day in Paradise” give residents and visitors a landscape vision of the many wonders of this beach-life community. Outside, a single steel drum player provides a light, upbeat island rhythm. For a few moments, it’s easy to imagine Sebastian from the Little Mermaid is leading a sea-life salsa from booth to booth and “Happy, Happy, Happy” is the theme of the day.