BANGOR — When the doors open Friday on the 44th annual Bangor Home Show, visitors familiar with the show’s traditional layout will be pleasantly surprised when they enter the Cross Insurance Center.
That’s because for the first time in 44 years, the Home Show is not taking place inside the Bangor Auditorium and Bangor Civic Center.
And no one could be happier than the show’s promoter, Dean Appleman of All Seasons Promotions.
“The Cross Insurance Center has turned out to be a real gem,” said Appleman, whose visits to the facility have included a mid-February stop during the Eastern Maine High School Basketball Tournament. He holds similar home shows in New England cities larger than Bangor, and with the new CIC, he believes the Queen City has developed “a state-of-the-art facility … on a par with other facilities we use.
“I want to see how the vendors are going to appreciate the set up and breakdown this year,” Appleman said. Recalling past Bangor Home Shows, he remembered various auditorium-related problems, including “the mud in the back” behind the auditorium.
“We’ve had rain inside that building,” he said.
As for the Cross Insurance Center, “it is a beautiful facility,” he said. “I like the idea of coming up the concourse and then going downstairs on the escalator.”
For 2014, Appleman will place “about 230 exhibitors” inside the Arena and along “the entire concourse down around the escalator, all the way around the other side. I’ve actually increased space about 3 percent from last year.”
Visitors will enter the CIC’s Southwest Entrance, which faces the Bass Park harness-racing track. Once inside, visitors will follow the concourse to the right around to the escalator and stairs accessing the first floor; two elevators also connect the floors. Visitors will enter the Arena from the lower level.
The actual Bangor Home Show “experience” will start outdoors, where Coastline Homes of Hancock will display “a beautiful modular home,” Appleman said. Inside the Cross Insurance Center, visitors will encounter exhibitors’ booths along the concourse and throughout the Arena.
“I had fun figuring how to fit people into specific spots,” he said.
As for the types of home-related products and services that will be displayed, Appleman mentioned stonework, kitchens, energy-efficient windows, and heat pumps as some specific products. Several exhibitors will demonstrate cooking utensils and other equipment.
Appleman is bringing to his show Daniel Buck Soules, who appeared for 11 years as an independent appraiser on “Antiques Roadshow.” Soules “will appraise people’s antiques and valuables for free, Saturday and Sunday, all day,” Appleman said.
The 2014 Bangor Home Show Open will be open:
• 1-9 p.m., Friday, April 11;
• 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday, April 12;
• 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, April 13.
Admission is $7 per person. According to Appleman, a visitor can save $2 by showing “any show ad” at the CIC ticket windows.
He expects a good crowd. Last year’s attendance — 20,893 paid visitors — “was outstanding, was mind-blowing, a very impressive number amongst the economy and all the changes going on in our world in the past year.
“The show this year should be terrific,” Appleman said. He is pleased to be working with Mike Dyer, the CIC’s general manager and the former Bass Park manager. “This brings a lot of confidence, coming into a new building,” Appleman said. “The staff is great; the building itself is fun.”
For more information, log onto homeshows.com and click on “Bangor Home Show.