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Fall home show gets holiday name and theme

Leaves turning colors means it's time to get into the holiday spirit, and year after year homeowners are faced with the same question when it comes to decorating: should they stick to tradition or try something new?

This year's fall home show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds aims to give expert advice on seasonal decor as well as a range of other topics. Organizers have even adopted a new name — the Maryland Home and Holiday Show — and theme for the three-day event, which runs Oct. 17-19.

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The Holiday Craft Show, which takes place alongside the home show, will feature more than 100 juried artists displaying everything from pottery to paintings to photographs. Showgoers can skip a trip to the mall by purchasing unique and handmade gifts for everyone on their list. Visitors can also bring the kids for a chance to see Santa Oct. 18-19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The name change stems from a growing emphasis on holiday crafting and decorating, said Tony Fazio, a spokesman for the event. He also said that while the spring version of the home show typically features a theme, the fall show did not.

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"So because of the Holiday Craft Show, the additional family-friendly entertainment, the proximity to the holidays, and the absence of a theme for the fall show, 'Maryland Home & Holiday Show' felt like a better fit," said Fazio.

In addition to holiday help, attendees will have the opportunity to meet with over 300 designers, landscapers and contractors from the American Society of Interior Designers to ask questions about their own home improvement needs, whether it's how to dress a fireplace or how to bring light to your dining room.

If you thought Orioles fever was reserved for sports bars and Camden Yards, think again. Also new to the show are designer sports caves exhibits. Interior designers will deck out three rooms with Baltimore sports pride, including colors and memorabilia.

When you've seen all the Ravens purple and Orioles orange your eyes can take, go green. The Annapolis non-profit organization Sustainafest will debut a 210-square-foot "Tiny House" built by students to demonstrate sustainable living practices attendees can implement in their own homes.

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Even with the new focus on the holidays, the landscaped gardens will still be highlight of the event, showcasing seasonal settings that incorporate native plants and fall flowers into impressive displays year after year.

Also new this year is a Pets at Home section, which will feature artisan pet items. Shop for your furry friends at the new pet accessories stations after watching a performance by the Disc-Connected K9's. The champion acrobatic and frisbee dogs will make their home show debut with about a dozen different canines jumping, flipping and catching flying disks.

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