SECAUCUS, N.J. (PIX11) – Landscapers are known to take their jobs seriously, but some make sure not to take themselves too seriously, as the “Star Wars versus Star Trek” theme took over this year’s New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association Trade Show.

“We have all basically come today dressed as a character,” said Patrick Barckett, sales and marketing director for Bobcat of North Jersey. “Luckily I was able to come as a Mandalorian. Every year, by doing a theme, it keeps it fresh.”

While some others may have left their lightsabers at home, about 2,000 attendees filled the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus for what’s really like Christmas morning for those in the business. It’s a day to check out the latest and greatest toys and tools, but it’s also a day to learn. From scientists to state troopers, landscapers all over the tri-state area are getting new knowledge to be on the cutting edge of their craft.

“This happens to be the big Super Bowl of the show for this area and people traveling from South Jersey,” said Dan Kindergan of Bergen County-based Kindergan Landscaping. Kindergan said pandemic home projects and last summer’s drought brought big business to the industry.

“We’ve come across a lot of people that have been doing since the pandemic larger landscape projects,” said Kindergan, “but we’ve also noticed on the smaller landscape side that people are doing more improvements fixing up their houses.”

“Ultimately our goal is to make your property look the best it can be,” said Richard Goldstein, president of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association.

If it’s one message the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association has, it’s to consider leaving your lawn — and all of your outdoors — to the professionals.

“Yes, there’s a cost that’s involved in it,” said Goldstein, “but the education and the knowledge that we offer to a homeowner is hands down the best you can get.”