From cooking to countertops, there was something for everyone Saturday at the Home & Lifestyle Expo 2011 and Taste of Home Cooking School in Carson City.
The expo was sponsored by the Nevada Appeal and The Record-Courier. The event drew hundreds of people to the Capital Christian Event Center on Snyder Avenue.
"We are amazed by the turnout," said Niki Gladys, publisher of the two newspapers. "We've had a lot of enthusiasm for the cooking school, and we're happy to see so many people coming out to be a part of their community and spend time with each other. There has been constant traffic all day long."
Gladys said she also was gratified to be able to turn the spotlight on local businesses.
"We have nearly 40 vendors," she said. "Part of the reason for putting on this show was to encourage people to shop locally and to show all the business offerings we have available in our community."
Vendors who participated in the expo said they enjoyed being a part of it.
"It was very, very busy, and we've gotten lots of good leads and given out a lot of brochures," said Monica Radtke, co-owner of Radtke Tile & Marble, a participating sponsor of the expo. "It's been good to be able to remind the public that we're still here."
Garrett Lepire of Realty Executives said his was the only real estate firm at the expo.
"We've been handing out market information and raffle tickets for a dinner at Adele's Restaurant. More than 175 entered our drawing," Lepire said.
Tom Betts and his wife Bonnie, new owners of Dream Dinners, said they also have enjoyed being a participating sponsor of the expo.
"It's been going very well, and we've been very impressed," said Tom Betts. "It's been really nice dealing with the people in Carson City. We've had a lot of people coming through, and we've got a lot of new contacts from this."
Jarill Ristine, representing Xocai Healthy Chocolate, summed it up best.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat. I really enjoyed this venue," she said.
Meanwhile, in the building next door, hundreds filled the auditorium for the Taste of Home Cooking School from 3-5 p.m.
Recipes, demonstrations and cooking tips were provided by award-winning chef, author and television personality Eric Villegas.
Corina Flansberg of Carson City, said she is a fan of Taste of Home.
"I come every time it's available anywhere around here," Flansberg said. "I think it's a great cooking school. I can learn easy and delicious ways to cook a great meal with things my family will love."
Earl Scilingo and his wife Linda Malzone of Gardnerville said they were hoping to find some special recipes.
"I'm anxious to see what they have. I'm vegetarian, so I'm always on the lookout for new vegetarian recipes, and I do a lot of Italian cooking with vegetables," Scilingo said.
"My wife is an excellent cook. She makes her own Italian biscottis which are known all around Lake Tahoe. They're fabulous. She can cook up anything Italian," he said.
"There is always something new to be learned," said Malzone. "I like new recipes because you can always convert them to low-fat or make them vegetarian."
Yvette Healy of Washoe Valley said she knew it was going to be a great show.
"I get the Taste of Home Cooking magazine, and I love it. This is my first show, but anything I can learn about cooking will be good for me because I love to cook," she said.
Gladys also spoke favorably of the event center.
"The Capital Christian Event Center is a great venue for any community event," she said. "It's just wonderful in here, and there is so much on-site parking."
Gladys said the Nevada Appeal and The Record-Courier are considering making the expo an annual event.