With homeowners spending more time than ever in their houses, the Rochester Area Builders are prepared for a busy 2021 Home Show.

It’s been a long time coming — after a non-starter February event, the RAB was just waiting for Gov. Tim Walz to allow limited-capacity indoor events again, said Executive Director John Eischen.

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After the event was green-lit, the only hurdle was putting safety regulations in place, like 9-foot-wide walkways, one-way traffic, and capacity limits.

The housing industry is well used to safety regulations.

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“We work with OSHA regulations and code and job-site safety every day,” Eischen said. “And this is just another job site that we need to manage the safety. So it's what we do.”

John Eischen, Rochester Area Builders
John Eischen, Rochester Area Builders

Attendees and exhibitors will undergo temperature checks at the entrance of the Civic Center, and are required to wear masks while inside. Admission is free — Eischen didn’t want the cost to bar attendees from going.

But aside from that, not much has changed about the annual get-together of exhibitors and vendors.

Friday is still “date night,” featuring a cooking demonstration with Shari Mukherjee of “MasterChef” fame. On Saturday and Sunday, exhibitors will offer free 30-minute seminars, which will also be available to watch virtually.

Shari Mukherjee, of Rochester, appeared on the Fox reality cooking competition "MasterChef" in 2019. (Greg Gayne / Fox)
Shari Mukherjee, of Rochester, appeared on the Fox reality cooking competition "MasterChef" in 2019. (Greg Gayne / Fox)

Check out Resource Way, full of green-curtained exhibitors whose products and services are sustainable, energy-efficient, or otherwise related to green construction. And on Family Fun Day (Sunday), 250 children ages 10 and younger can take home a bag with “everything but the hammer” needed to build a wooden toolbox.

The RAB tries to promote the construction industry as a great career path early, Eischen said. This year, to keep the event safe, the building activity will be take-home only.

“We don't want to have people sitting on a table, you know, pounding the nails together, which is really part of the fun for us,” he said. “But they can take that home and spend some quality time with mom and dad using a hammer, and put something together and build something that they'll be able to use for years and years.”

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Repeat attendees are sure to see familiar faces along the aisles, he added.

“We actually look at the Home Show’s responsibility as — we want to make sure that the community knows the people that are going to be working on their homes,” Eischen said. “This gives you the opportunity to know all the businesses that are here — not the fly-by-nights that come in to storm chase. So that's one of the reasons we have this home show, is to provide that community resource for local, reputable businesses who do the work here.”

See more at www.rochesterareabuilders.com, or download the RAB Events app for a seminar schedule.

If you go

What: RAB 2021 Home Show

When: 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 9-11

Where: Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Drive SE, Rochester

Cost: Free