Get Your Green Thumb Growing @ The Big Sandy: 

Everything you ever needed to know about home improvements and gardening you can learn this weekend as The Big Sandy Superstore Arena welcomes in the annual WSAZ Home and Garden Show from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

There's 112 exhibitors as well as the Kid's Adventure Garden, and seminars from the Tri-State Master Gardeners throughout the weekend. Admission is $7, $6 seniors and free for children 12 and under to see the show which this year has 112 exhibitors, showcasing the latest home & garden products and services.

Kids can check out the Kid's Adventure Garden, sponsored by the Huntington Garden Club, Bob's Market & Greenhouse, Green Clovers 4-H Club, Good News Llamas and Little Victories Animal Rescue Group. Activities include an interactive garden and petting zoo.The Tri-State Master Gardeners will also be conducting seminars and answering questions.

Save The Last Dance For Mom:

On the heels of the Father Daughter Valentine Dance, the Park District presents the Mom & Son Prom from 6 to 9 p.m. March 10, at the Camp Mad Anthony Wayne Lodge, located at 2125 Spring Valley Drive, Huntington, WV 25704.Moms, come dance the night away with your little men and make memories that will last a lifetime. This semi-formal dance will include great music from DJ Chad Midkiff of DCM Pro Events and commemorative photos provided by Picture Perfect Photo Booth. Light refreshments will be served. At the end of the night, each mother will receive a special rose. Tickets are $20 per couple and $5 for each additional son and can be purchased online at ghprd.org or at the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District Office in Heritage Station.For more information contact GHPRD Recreation Coordinator Stacey Leep atsleep@ghprd.org or 304-696-5954.

Heard It From An Irish Appalachian Pilgrim:

Internationally known West Virginia poet and writer Laura Treacy Bentley has gathered a rich collection of her nature-based poetry and photography inspired by her travels in the green rolling hills of West Virginia, Maryland and Ireland - where her grandfather was born in Co. Galway."

Looking for Ireland: An Irish-Appalachian Pilgrimage," her third book (and her third book set in part in Ireland), will be celebrated with a book launch party at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 11 at the Cabell-Huntington CVB, 210 11th St, Huntington.

Come out and enjoy some coffee and cookies from River and Rail Bakery during this pre-St. Patrick's Day launch of Bentley's new poetry chapbook/art book out on Mountain State Press.

Go online at www.lauratreacybentley.com for more information on this new book.

The Rockin' Road to Dublin Hits Huntington:

Named the 2009 Men's World Champion of Irish Dance, Scott Doherty has toured with both Riverdance and Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, and these days the 30-year-old is stepping out on his own. Doherty has teamed up with Celtic rocker, Chris Smith, 32, of the world-touring band The American Rogues, and has created the next generation of Irish music and dance world tours called "Rockin' Road to Dublin."

As if on perfect cue in the week of St. Patrick's Day, the international tour stops by the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, March 14. Tickets range from $39 to $54 atwww.ticketmaster.com or by calling 304-696-6656.

Armed with 14 dancers, eight rock band members and two singers, "Rockin' Road to Dublin," puts a fresh, youthful twist and rock energy into the music and dance that so many people love, said Doherty, who dreamed up the show with Chris Smith,the show's lead percussionist and co-creator, when they were both working as performers in one of the most popular shows at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

"We feel like we have enough taste of the traditional songs and dances that everyone knows, the jigs and reels and the songs that everybody sings around St. Patrick's Day, but we also mix in this rock and roll element and you have never seen anything like our full rock band playing our finale, "A Nation Once Again," the unofficial anthem of Ireland. It is as big and epic as it deserves to be. People come not really knowing what to expect and they come away having seen something that was just different enough to be memorable."

Austrian Opera Star Via Arkansas:

Talk about the road less traveled, Arkansas native Kristin Lewis, who now lives in Austria and travels the world as an in-demand operatic soprano is Stateside for a few weeks. Thanks to her Godmother, Paulette Mabry, and other Huntington patrons of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, Lewis comes in to guest star with the HSO under the twinkling starry ceiling of the majestic Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11. experience the 55-member-strong Huntington Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the vivacious California resident conductor Kimo Furumoto. Stop by the HSO office, located at 763 Third Ave., Huntington, to get tickets which are $43 for reserved loge, $43 for reserved orchestra level one and $38 for reserved main floor. Children under 16 are free if they are accompanied by an adult. You can also get tickets online at www.huntingtonsymphony.org or call 304-781-8343 for tickets and for special group rates of five or more.

That's What She Painted And Sang:

It's Women's History Month and the Grayson Gallery & Art Center, Inc., 301 E 3rd St, Grayson, Ky., is celebrating from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 11, with a women's art exhibit featuring Carol Ray and live music from two Huntington female-led bands, $5 Red (Karen Combs) and the Eve Marcum-Atkinson led band ShadowShaker. There will be refreshments. The event is free but donations are appreciated.

Roadtrip Snowshoe Mountain: 

Snowshoe Mountain's 5th Annual Ballhooter Spring Break Festival runs Friday through Sunday, March 10-12 with headliners Big Gigantic, as well as Nebbra, Porch 40, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad and local favorite Shawn Owen.The theme of this year’s Festival is an “Intergalactic Spring Break” featuring free concerts, cosmic costume contests, yoga classes, live DJ parties, and college games including giant versions of classics like Plinko, Jenga and Kerplunk. For more information or to make a Snowshoe lodging reservation, please call 877-441-4386 or visit online at www.snowshoemtn.com.

Come Up to Museum To Celebrate Huntington's own Audubon:

Like Huntington's own, Audubon, world-renowned wildlife artist Chuck Ripper has literally put his stamp on the art world as one of the country's best-known wildlife artists. His detailed paintings have appeared on nearly 100 magazine covers and 80 U.S. postage stamps, as well as in books and on greeting cards, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards, and even bank checks.

Also known for his famous L.L. Bean catalog covers, Ripper, who has designed more than 550 conservation stamps for the National Wildlife Federation, will be speaking at a meeting of the Tri-State Arts Association at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 9 at the Huntington Museum of Art, 2033 McCoy Road.

It is free and open to the public to hear the talk from Ripper whose works have hung at the Norman Rockwell Museum of Illustration in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the Explorers’ Hall at the National Geographic Society, and the Denver Museum of Art. In West Virginia, his work has been shown at the Culture Center and the Huntington Museum of Art.Go online at www.hmoa.org for more info on the museum and its upcoming events.

My Roadtrip Pick: 

My Roadtrip pick is to Canaan Valley, where the family-owned Timberline Four Seasons Resort is hosting its 23rd annual Snowy Luau that runs Friday through Sunday, March 10-12 with traditional and authentic Hawaiian music, dancing and even fire twirling. There's also a Polynesian-style pig roast, and a bunch of Spring Break-style games on the slopes such as the beach-themed snow sculpting contest, a costume contest parade, a children's obstacle course race, a Sleds, Shovels and Sliders Hawaiian Derby, ski and snowboard races, and a Kids Fest in the Lava Garden.

At night, you can join in a traditional Hawaiian drumming party by the bonfire outside the lodge as folks gather to watch fireworks blown off Herz Mountain at 4,268 feet while 150 or more skiers bring red, glowing torchlight lava parade down the mountain.

Go online at www.timberlineresort.com for more info on Timberline, where the ski season is set to last through Sunday, March 19. The weekend after that, they'll be annual Snowmobile Races on Herz Mountain.

Speaking of great ski party weekends:

 Snowshoe Mountain is hosting its 5th Annual Ballhooter Spring Break Festival runs Friday through Sunday, March 10-12 with headliners Big Gigantic, as well as Nebbra, Porch 40, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad and local favorite Shawn Owen.The theme of this year’s Festival is an “Intergalactic Spring Break” featuring free concerts, cosmic costume contests, yoga classes, live DJ parties, and college games including giant versions of classics like Plinko, Jenga and Kerplunk. For more information or to make a Snowshoe lodging reservation, please call 877-441-4386 or visit online at www.snowshoemtn.com.

Dave Lavender is the author of "Dave Trippin: A Daytripper's Guide to the Appalachian Galaxy of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia" and his new travel book, "Mo' Dave Trippin" now for sale on Amazon.com and through CreateSpace. Check out the new book at the Red Caboose, Empire Books and News, and now at Camden Park. Lavender covers regional travel. Follow The Herald-Dispatch reporter on Facebook and Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.