Kalona Home Show prepared to dazzle March 22-23

By Cheryl Allen
Posted 3/22/24


Kalona has developed a reputation for quality home products and services, and on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, many of them will be represented under one roof for the Kalona Home Show. …

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Kalona Home Show prepared to dazzle March 22-23



Kalona has developed a reputation for quality home products and services, and on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, many of them will be represented under one roof for the Kalona Home Show. About 40 exhibitors are expected at the Kalona Community Center/YMCA, including builders, bankers, and Amish craftsmen.

“It surprises me the number of trades in Kalona and the good reputation that everyone in Kalona has,” Zach Hardman, one of the show’s organizers, said.

He has witnessed much of their work, having been in many area homes as the owner of Hardman Painting.

“I think it’s important to showcase what we have to offer and the good craftsmanship that we have,” he added.

Folks both local and from surrounding communities will have an opportunity to learn what Kalona-area businesses have to offer at the home show, which is free and open to the public.

In addition to the opportunity to meet business representatives, attendees of the show will be able to enter raffles for $500 mattress and appliance gift cards, a specialty sheet and pillow set, and a leaf blower. Tote bags distributed upon entry will make it easy to collect and carry information, and exhibitors may have their own raffles and giveaways as well.

Food and drink options will be available on-site during show hours Friday night and Saturday.

“It’s been years since Kalona had a home show, so I’m excited to be a part of one,” Hayley Hershberger, owner/realtor at Kalona Realty, said. “I think a lot of people think of Kalona as a small bedroom community, but we’re much bigger than that. We’re a thriving town with a lot to offer, and I’m excited to showcase that to other area communities.”

Much work has gone into bringing the home show back to Kalona. More than 2000 people flocked to the home shows held in 2011 and 2012, but when it’s venue – the old Community Center gym – was torn down to make way for the new YMCA, it went on hiatus.

Until now. Last summer, the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce and The News partnered to bring the show back. A committee, comprised of Sarah Chmelar (City of Kalona), Hardman, Hershberger, Emmy Johnson (Ramsey Creek), and Ron Slechta (The News), led by Tonia Poole (Kalona Chamber), formed to organize the show and work out the details.

And there were many details to work out for an event of this size, but for the committee members, being able to bring attention to Kalona-area businesses is worth it.

“We get a lot of phone calls from people looking for different entities,” Chmelar said from her perspective as City Clerk. “I’m excited that there’s one area someone could go to to find out what’s in town, because I think there are some people that don’t know what’s in the area.”

Poole agrees with Chmelar; the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce also fields a lot of questions from people looking for home goods and services. “It’s kind of like problem solving,” she said of her job, and she’s happy that the home show can solve problems for both demand and supply sides.

“I’ve had several exhibitors say, ‘Thank you for doing this, for giving us a place to highlight and showcase our business,’” she said.

Johnson, who is an interior designer with Ramsey Creek Woodworks, is one such exhibitor. She’s excited about a cabinet she designed to display at the show, and “it will be nice to make connections” with both potential customers and other local tradespeople, she said.

The Kalona Home Show takes place Friday, March 22 from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kalona Community Center, 511 C Ave., Kalona. Forty exhibitors representing the full range of home goods and services, including gutters, painting, furniture, real estate, landscaping, mini buildings, cabinetry, security, construction, mortgage, remodeling, basement repair, air purification, staging, roofing, solar, and planning, will be on site to discuss needs and answer questions.

“I think more and more people are finding out about Kalona, and how great it is to live and work here,” Hershberger said. “There’s a lot of opportunity. I’m going to show it off.”