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As spring approaches and folks begin thinking about the outsides and insides of their homes, thoughts turn to making improvements.

The more than 1,000 booths representing 500 companies at the annual Salt Lake Tribune Home and Garden Festival that opens its four-day run Thursday at the South Towne Expo Center might help those thoughts to turn into reality.

"This is the biggest show of the year as far as home improvement and gardening goes," said director Brooke Peterson. She said there are some major trends that will be obvious at the show.

"The outdoor trend we have been seeing is that a lot of families are creating outdoor living spaces," said Peterson, indicating those spaces include fire pits, water features, outdoor kitchens and barbecues."

On the inside of the house, Peterson said she is seeing the use of more color and contemporary, sleeker, cleaner designs for bathrooms and kitchens.

In addition to the commercial booths, several celebrity guest speakers and seminars are scheduled throughout the week. They include:

• Josh Flagg of Bravo TV's "Million Dollar Listing," an expert in high-end residential real estate. He will speak on how homeowners can increase the value of their dwellings. His talk is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m.

• Bryan Bauemier, host of HGTV's "Disaster DIY," will speak Friday at 5 p.m. His topic will focus on do-it-yourself renovation projects. He will join the festival via Skype from Canada.

• Ahmed Hassan, host of "Yard Crashers" on the DIY Network, will talk about transforming outdoor spaces into a dream backyards. He will speak Saturday at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

• Joy Bossi, radio host of "Joy in the Garden," will share tips with the audience on planting edible gardens. Bossi will be on the Green Stage by Xfinity all four days.

The Blooming Hope Flower Auction is scheduled from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Audience members will get a chance to bid on floral arrangements from the design team of Every Blooming Thing. Proceeds will be donated to benefit Primary Children's Medical Center.

The Kitchen Stage presented by SelectHealth will feature a number of guest speakers all four days of the event. They will include Chef Bryan Woolley of KUTV's "What's for Dinner?,' Wendy Paul of the 101 Gourmet Cookbook series, raw food enthusiasts Shannon Branson Fuller and others. —

If you go

What • Home and Garden Festival

When • 2 to 9 p.m., Thursday; noon to 10 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday

Where • South Towne Expo Center, Sandy

Admission• $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, children 12 and under free. Military, fire and police personnel will be admitted free Thursday.

For discount tickets and more information • Go to

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