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Winter Fun Guide | Grand Strand Boat Show & Home Show displays best of land and sea

Caviar wishes and homey traditions are at the heart of an event this winter featuring treasures from land and sea - the Budweiser Grand Strand Boat Show & Home Show 2011.

From Feb.11-13, more than 300 vendors and exhibitors will showcase a plethora of goods and services aimed to make life lovelier, whether sitting or sailing, fixing or fishing.

The aim of the combined show, in short, is to be a one-stop shop where addicts and admirers can be pleased while pursuing pleasures for home or aquatic life.

"The timing of the show is a plus for the consumers, providing them with the opportunity to get a jump on spring home-improvement projects," said Rose Anne O'Reilly, executive vice president of the Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association. "Now is the time to remodel your bath or kitchen, work on an interior design project, install that pool, spa, waterfall or water garden, or build that home of your dreams."

On the oceanic side, water dwellers should expect to see everything from johnboats to cruisers for adventurers and avid fishermen alike.

"All of our dealers will bring a pretty good representation from their smallest boats to their larger boats," said Elizabeth Cooper, boat show promoter and owner of Cooper Communications, a public relations firm in Murrells Inlet. "What people don't see, they will have information about."

Close your eyes, if you will, and try to imagine the convention center being all about boat and home stuff for three solid days.

"We've got the whole thing, the entire convention center, and a few things on the outside," O'Reilly said.

In addition to vendors, selling their wares, and bankers, who will be on hand to write loans for that boat you want to buy, there will be a silent auction to benefit the Grand Strand Humane Society. Items donated for the event include centipede sod (enough to do a small yard), cat trees, gift baskets and tools.

There will also be an array of seminars and demonstrations, from talks on king mackerel fishing and trolling offshore or inshore, to getting your lawn ready for spring, to vegetable gardening and eating heart-healthy.

Both ladies said consumers will get a bargain for their money since the shows are being held together for the first time ever. The boat show is 27 years old, while the home show is 31 years old.

"We wanted to offer people more value for their money," Cooper said. "If it works well, we plan to do the same thing next year."

One really cool thing about the show, vendors and organizers said, is that it allows folks to have face-to-face encounters with local business owners.

Kimberly Elko of Elko Spas, Billiards & Pools of Myrtle Beach will be there.

She and her husband, Michael Elko, began participating in the home show seven or eight years ago.

The duo will have a variety of their made-in-America goods on display, which are also green products to boot.

"This is the show of the year," Kimberly Elko said. "This is it. You are getting quality products and service from your local business people. You get to meet these people at the show. People can meet us at the show. We are here. We are not in another state. We want you to come back."

Not only does the show allow vendors to meet multitudes in one fell swoop, but it also allows them to introduce the public to items about which they weren't aware.

Garden City Furniture in Garden City Beach will be showcasing natural mattresses, furniture designed ergonomically, as well as alternative sleep mechanisms.

Pam Burris, director of sales for Garden City Furniture, said the event will be beneficial to the store and attendees.

"The show introduces us to people throughout the Grand Strand as just opposed to people living on the south end," Burris said. "It also allows people to realize the vastness of our product selections. The show brings two demographics together."

O'Reilly said the event can appeal to anybody.

"It's a show the whole family can enjoy," she said. "The exhibits, seminars, the opportunity to talk to the pros, activities for the children - this show provides it all. The show attracts consumers from Horry, Georgetown, Brunswick and Florence counties."