Welcome Mat: Vern Yip to speak at Women’s Show

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Koi Festival at Belle Isle Aquarium on May 5

I’d never heard of Japan’s Children’s Day celebration until I befriended someone from Japan where Boys’ Day and Girls’ Day are a big part of the culture. Now called Children’s Day, it’s a time dedicated to the health and wellness of children. On Children’s Day this year, May 5, the Belle Isle Conservancy will celebrate with the return of its Koi Festival, which runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Belle Isle Aquarium. This family-friendly festival, which is a good fit for koi lovers as well, will feature traditional Japanese games, music, martial arts and more. For details, go to

Local nurseries host spring

open houses

Spring has sprung (no matter what Mother Nature throws at us) and that means local nurseries and garden stores are gearing up to host their annual spring open houses to show off this season’s latest gears and gadgets. Ray Wiegand’s, 47747 Romeo Plank Road in Macomb Township, will host its Spring Open House on April 21-22 where customers can see this year’s array of outdoor furniture, accessories and more. Farmer John’s Greenhouse, 26950 Haggerty in Farmington Hills, also will hold its Spring Open House from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 21-22 with food and giveaways. Fleurdetroit, 1507 S. Telegraph in Bloomfield Hills, meanwhile, will hold its Spring Open House on May 12. Call nurseries for hours.

Win tickets to Women’s Show, hear Vern Yip

Beloved interior designer Vern Yip, who just made his return to TV on TLC’s rebooted “Trading Spaces,” is coming to Metro Detroit for this year’s Michigan International Women’s Show. Yip will speak at 1 p.m. May 5 on the Fashion Stage at the Suburban Collection Showplace, offering tips on home decor and advice on stylish living. To win tickets to the Women’s Show, which runs from May 3-6 and is co-sponsored by The Detroit News, go to The grand prize winner will receive four-pack of four-day passes to the show, a $50 Macy’s Gift Card and $100 in Show Bucks to use during the show. Fifteen runner-ups will win a four-pack of one-day tickets. Winner will be announced on or about April 20.

Renovation tips from design center

Contemplating a major reno? The Michigan Design Center is hosting a seminar that could really help. Called Renovations Done Right, the April 27 event will bring together several local expert designers to address some of the top questions they get all the time when it comes to remodeling and design choices. Five keynote presentations are planned from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., focusing on bath design; kitchen and kitchen selections, such as cabinet and countertop choice; space planning; and color. The final talk at 3:30 will bring together several designers to answer questions. Renovations Done Right is free and open to the public, but reservations are required and must be made by April 25. Events also will be held in some participating showrooms. Visit to RSVP. The MDC is at 1700 Stutz Drive in Troy.

‘Ask Our Experts’ series begins

at Ford House

Visitors eager to go behind the scenes of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores to learn more about the furniture, art and antiques can learn more through the estate’s new Ask Our Experts series and the returning Collector Series. Ask Our Experts, which will be set up in the Visitors Center, brings together those who know best to answer questions about the house, its history, upkeep and tips for people in their own homes. It will be held on Fridays from 2-4 p.m. April through October. There’s no fee. The Collector Series, meanwhile, will delve into other topics. On April 26, the topic is The Ultimate Fixer Upper: Furnishing Fair Lane. Tickets for each Collectors Series event are $18 for non-members and $15 for members and are available at