Move those feet (or buses work, too!) on over to the Fall Atlanta Home Show this weekend to see hundreds of home improvement exhibitors, live radio broadcasts, product demonstrations and on-stage presentations by celebrity speakers.
One of those speakers will be a familiar face to millions of home improvement television enthusiasts, as well as members of Sprayberry High School’s Class of 1984. Marietta native and Sprayberry graduate Ty Pennington — perhaps best known for his starring role in ABC’s long-running, tear-jerking home remodeling show “Extreme Home Makeover,” which just recently announced its reboot with Pennington once again leading the show — will be speaking on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.
The show, presented by Marketplace Events, is returning for its 36th year this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Cobb Galleria Centre.
Pennington, who is known for his exuberant personality and carpentry skills, also attended Kennesaw State University and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta with a degree in graphic design.
“I can’t wait to talk to people about the fact that, you know, I’m literally homegrown,” Pennington said during a recent phone interview with the MDJ. “Marietta was such a fun place to grow up and Atlanta’s really now become the new Hollywood, which is crazy, but awesome.”
Those in attendance during Pennington’s speech should expect stories about his childhood in Marietta, insight into what happens behind the scenes of his shows “Extreme Home Makeover” and TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and his journey and challenges with being diagnosed with ADHD.
“Most people with ADHD, if they’re having to do what I’ve done, would end up with their fingers cut off, especially if they’re using saws,” Pennington said with a laugh. “If you think about having to use a saw while talking into a camera and not looking at what you’re doing … the fact that I still have all of my fingers is a miracle.”
Pennington said he will also share all of the good, the bad and the ugly about working long hours on a home improvement show while actually doing the work.
“A lot of people don’t realize also all the mistakes you make when you’re deliriously tired and you’re building a bed and realize that you forgot that the door size to get it in the room is to small and you have to saw it up,” he said.
But the heart of what he does is also at the heart of what his shows are about, which is making people happy and connecting communities for the greater good.
“We built houses around the country and so many towns, and, whenever I speak, there’s always somebody who has been a volunteer or knew someone who received a home,” he said. “I love connecting with people that were there and really saw the magic of the shows that I’ve been on, and connecting with people. I like showcasing the power of working together in the community because it’s amazing what can get done when people want to make positive changes and want to roll up their sleeves and work with others to make it happen. I loved hearing the stories and just getting people amped to go out and do good.”
But when asked what he was most excited about this weekend, his answer was simple and in the same genuine, excited manner his fans have come to know and love: “I can’t wait to go home! It’s going to be awesome.”
The Fall Atlanta Home Show hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. General Admission tickets for adults are $8 when purchased online, or $10 at the show’s box office. Children age 12 and under and adults age 65 and older (with ID) are admitted free.
For more information on the show, as well as special events and speakers, visit FallAtlantaHomeShow.com.