Pond Builders Gather for a Blockbuster 2024 Water Garden Expo

Published on April 27, 2024

Water Garden Expo 2024

Another Water Garden Expo is in the books. The annual event took place February 28 through March 1 in Shawnee, Oklahoma and is sponsored by Pondliner.

 This year was extra special because it started out with a pre-show memorial build. That feeling of pride, accomplishment and camaraderie carried into the expo.

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The three-day event kicked off on Wednesday with various afternoon seminars. Larry Carnes was one of the speakers, and he led two sessions on recreational ponds.

Thursday offered a full day of sessions on a variety of interesting topics. For those interested in the business side of pond building, Kevin Dougherty had sessions all day. Other speakers included Frayne McAtee, Jason Steele and Mike Miner.

At the end of the afternoon, it was showtime for POND Trade as we announced the winners of the eighth annual Water Artisans of the Year contest. There were four categories this year: Best Pondless, Most Naturalistic, Fountains and Formal Features and Best Under $20k. Unfortunately, none of the first-place winners were in attendance. We did have a second place winner, though — Dan Johanson for Best Pondless. Congrats to all the winners. Happy hour followed, where a whole lot of networking was going on.

It’s always a good time to check out the exhibitors. There were 21 to visit this year. It’s a unique opportunity to see the new product offerings and touch base with your favorite vendors (and meet some new ones).

Another popular attraction was Eric Triplett’s (The Pond Digger) podcasting area. He had good traffic at his booth and interviewed many people for future podcasts.

On the last day, there were more interesting sessions from 8 a.m. to noon with lots of good speakers and topics, including crowd favorite Kelly Billing, the queen of aquatic plants.

The turnout was great this year, with more than 170 in attendance and quite a few new faces. Randy Stewart was pleased with the turnout.

I say it every year, and I’ll say it again. Be sure to add attending the Water Garden Expo to your to-do list for next year. You won’t be disappointed!

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