Garden show tops list of spring things to do in Baton Rouge

After the long, cold winter, gardeners can’t wait to get their hands in the dirt. And the 12th annual Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show this weekend is the perfect place to get a little inspiration, a lot of plants and oh-so-much more.

In addition to the show on Saturday and Sunday at LSU’s John M. Parker Coliseum on Highland Road, there will be a koi show, car show and chili cook-off.

The garden show will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days and include local nurseries and other vendors selling plants and other garden wares, including tools, pots, ornaments and landscaping materials.

LSU AgCenter horticulturist David Himelrick said the floor of the coliseum will be transformed into a world of plants and gardens for the event.

The cost is $5 for adults; free for youngsters 12 and younger. All other events are free.

Koi show

If you’ve never seen koi, you’ll be blown away by the beauty of these big fish on display at the Deep South Koi and Pond Society’s first show.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the coliseum. Admission is included with your garden show ticket.

“Members of the Koi Society have dreamed for several years of producing a koi show,” said the society’s Danna Spayde, “and plan for it to become an annual event in Baton Rouge.”

Twelve tanks of various types and sizes of koi will be judged, as will goldfish.

Prizes will be awarded in 10 different koi categories and four goldfish categories. There will also be awards for “People’s Choice” and “Kids Choice, ” which will be decided by popular vote. Koi experts from Texas will be on hand to offer advice.

And the Koi and Pond Society will have a booth, where a raffle will be held and fish will be sold. Stop by to find out about koi, goldfish, ponds and water gardening or to join the group. For more information, visit of call (225) 317-0933.

Chili Cook-Off

The Eighth annual Chili Cook-Off will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in front of the coliseum.

Sixty contestants are expected to participate in the cook-off, with teams from the local region and other spots all over the country.

Competition categories include Red Chili, Chili Verde and Salsa and Home Style Chili. Those attending can get a taste and vote on the “People’s Choice Award.”

The cook-off is sponsored by “Catholic Radio” WPYR-AM, 1380, Knights of Columbus, Audubon Kiwanis and 4theKids. All proceeds will benefit the children at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, which is the second largest children’s hospital in Louisiana, touching the lives of 86,000 children last year alone.

The hospital treats children in need, regardless of ability to pay.

For more information, visit

Car show

The Fifth annual Baton Rouge Spring Car Show is set at the coliseum for Sunday.

All models and years are welcome to join the competition, with registration from 9 a.m. to noon.

Cost is $25.

At 2 p.m., awards will be presented for top cars, trucks and motorcycles, Best of Show and People’s Choice.

There will also be music by DJ Homer Thornton and children’s activities.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.