by Stephen Dafoe
stephen@morinvillenews.com

A new name and new direction are two of the things the Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce are hoping will provide the remedy to revitalize the business organization’s annual spring trade show. If that doesn’t do it, the 2016 iteration of the annual event will be the last.

“It’s a new look. We’ve got more meat and potatoes in it,” said Trade Show Chair Penny Modien. “There seems to be interest, and maybe it’s because they’ve all heard it may be our last if it doesn’t go. It’s a lot of work.”
Modien said though the motivation behind the annual event is to showcase businesses in the region, the show is also a fundraiser to help support the Chamber’s other operations and programs.

So far, organizers already have more booths ad exhibitors lined up than they had at the shows opening in 2015.

Changing the name from Leap into Spring to Explore the Wonders is not the only change for the annual event. Realizing the difficulty in small businesses taking time away from their shops and families for three days, the Chamber decided to eliminate the Sunday portion and launch the event at noon on Friday.

In addition to dropping Sundays, gate admission was also dropped for this year’s event. Donations at the gate will be accepted.

Inside the gate, participants will find a variety of home-based and brick and mortar businesses, including some car dealerships from the region.

This year’s event will take place April 22 and 23, a chosen date that no longer puts the show in competition with St. Albert’s Trade Show.

The Chamber has connected with local musicians, dancers, and other entertainers once again to have them hit the stage, sponsored by Quinn’s Plumbing and Heating.

“Riley Quinn and his band will be coming out, and I’ve been in contact with some of the Zumba classes,” Modien said. “We’re going to have an organized open mic.”

Also hitting the stage is the Morinville Vet Clinic Pet Parade. The annual animal fashion show will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday. Friday night’s opening ceremonies will include a special unveiling of a gift the Chamber received from China. They are also hoping to line up some food trucks for a battle of the food trucks event Friday night.

It’ll be a real drag

Daryl Steinbach, a member of the Top Eliminator Edmonton – Drag Racing Club sponsored by RV City for the last two seasons, will be on hand at the show to support the Morinville Food Bak Society.

“Everytime Daryl wins one of the Top Eliminator Drag Races, all the winnings are then presented to the Morinville Food Bank,” said RV City’s Jasmine Montpetit. “Last year, after one of Daryl’s races in September … a donation of over $5,000 was made to the Food Bank on behalf of Daryl’s Drag Race Team and the sponsors: RV City, Mason Landscaping ad A-1 Quality Belting Ltd.”

Steinbach will be helping the food bank during the show. People can have their photo taken with the racer and a dragster with the monies being donated to the food bank at the end of the Trade show.

The Explore the Wonders Trade Show will take place Apr. 22 from noon until 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce at 780-939-9462.

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