From left: Morinville Councillor Paul Krauskopf, Bon Accord Mayor Randy Boyd, Morinville Mayor Llord Bertschi and then Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Ken Kowalski cut the ribbon on the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce Trade Show last year. The annual event begins this Friday night. – File Photo
By The Morinville News Staff
Morinville – The Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce is getting ready to open the gates on their annual trade show, set to take over the Ray McDonald Sports Centre Apr. 20 to 22. Organizers of this year’s show are looking forward to bringing the community a wide-variety of business under one big roof for the tenth consecutive time. As has been the Chamber’s tradition, the 10th Annual Trade Show is looking to connect residents and visitors with local and area businesses and organizations.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to display their wares, showcase their products, and showcase their services,” said Trade Show Committee Chair Paula Hittinger of the approximately 90 businesses and organizations set to attend the three-day event. “For those attending the Trade Show, it is a great opportunity for people to see the businesses that are right here in our community that people may not even know exist.”
Although Morinville and area residents may be familiar with some of the community’s larger businesses, Hittinger said visitors will have the opportunity to also see some of the community’s home-based business, entrepreneurial enterprises that are offering interesting products and services in Morinville and surrounding area. “There are so many businesses that people don’t realize are around, especially the home-based businesses,” she said. “Those little home-based business that do not necessarily get the opportunity to advertise – it’s a great opportunity for them to say, ‘Hey, I’m here.’”
Fifteen of the 90 booths booked thus far are home-based businesses. Hittinger explained there are still a few booths left, but they are almost always completely booked by the opening of the show.
As in previous years the Trade Show will offer a variety of activities in addition to the businesses and non-profits showcasing what they have and what they do.
The Chamber of Commerce is using Friday night’s opening as a celebration for the Honourable Ken Kowalski in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the community over the many years he was MLA. “This will probably be the last opportunity for people to see him, so we will be having a presentation for him on the Friday night,” Hittinger said, adding a giant cake will be on hand both in honour of Kowalski and in recognition of the 10th anniversary for the Trade Show. “People can have a piece of cake and talk to Ken, thank him for his years of service and support. That’s a big one to me.”
In addition to the Kowalski presentation, Friday night will see a school choir perform as well as dance routines from Dance Connections students. Saturday’s entertainment includes a number of local performers and an appearance from the Edmonton Eskimos Cheerleaders. Sunday’s main entertainment event is the annual Baby Crawl, this year sponsored by The Morinville News. Hittinger said the crawl is a popular Trade Show attraction. “It’s fun,” she said. “People just love to watch babies crawl.” Prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place finishers. Entry forms are available at the Chamber office or at the event.
Another activity Hittinger and her committee are sure is going to pack people in is the Morinville United Church’s pancake breakfast, running Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until noon. Proceeds will go towards the Morinville United Church’s on-going programs.
Once again this year, a major prize will be drawn for those who take the time to get their passports stamped at each of the trade show booths. Previous year’s prize pack has been an outdoor patio collection. This year the Chamber has assembled a $2,500 gift certificate from High Street Interiors so the winner can pick furniture to fit their décor. The prize pack also includes a Sobeys gift certificate.
The Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce Trade Show runs Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $3 per person or $10 per family.