Thousands are expected for the 9th annual Pope County Expo, one of the largest free events in the area. The Expo will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Minnewaska Area High School (located halfway between Glenwood and Starbuck).
“There will be something for every age and every interest at the Pope County Expo,” said Janelle Negen, executive director of the Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and an Expo committee member.
“The Expo is a great way for businesses, nonprofit organizations and home-based business in and around Pope County to show what they have, and it is a great way for people in the area to find out about the products and services we have in the area,” said Kay Blauert, Glenwood Welcome Center executive director and Expo committee member. “We are expecting more than 125 booths again this year.”
The Pope County Expo Committee started meeting regularly in September and has assembled a long list of activities and demonstrations for this year’s event. All of these events are free and open to the public:
“There will be kids’ inflatables, glitter tattoos, a virtual law enforcement scenario, virtual reality simulators, a photo booth and Erickson’s Petting Zoo going on all day long,” said Negen.
In addition, there are several special presentations, all lasting about 30-45 minutes. They include:
• Just for Kix Dance Show (9:30 a.m.)
“We are happy to have Just For Kix back with us this year,” said Blauert. “They always put on a great show.”
• Stuff N’ Fluff Zoo Animals (workshops at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m.)
“This is always a popular event,” said Blauert. “It is first come, first serve, and there are limited spots available in each session, so try to come a little early for a guaranteed spot.”
• Stand Up Paddleboard Demonstrations by Hangloose (9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the pool)
“These demonstrations target both new learners and experienced paddleboard users. They cover the basics, as well as some advanced things–last year they showcased pilates and yoga on a paddleboard,” said Blauert.
• Cooking with Dr. Laura Huggins, Glacial Ridge Health System, low-carb cooking demonstration (10:45 a.m.)
“The Glacial Ridge Health System always puts on a popular session centered around health education for all ages. It’s usually very well attended,” said Negen.
• Jungle Safari Yoga led by Barb Ostrander (10:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. in wrestling room)
“It’s yoga presented in an easy and fun way targeted toward the little ones,” said Negen. “It is a great activity for kids and families.”
• Fishing Seminar for Adults by Nancy Koep, Koep’s Bobbers and Bait (11:30 a.m.)
“Nancy has a wealth of knowledge on fishing and will offer tips and techniques and answer questions on everything to do with fishing,” said Blauert.
• “Tick Talk: Time to Learn about Lymes Disease & Anaplasmosis” presentation by Dr. Jean Hollenstein, Glacial Ridge Vet Clinic
“Anyone with pets would gain a lot from coming to this session. Dr. Jean is very knowledgeable and will share a lot of helpful information regarding tick- borne illnesses and keeping your pet healthy,” said Negen.
• Fishing Seminar for Kids by Nancy Koep, Koep’s Bobbers and Bait (1:15 p.m.)
“Nancy returns to talk about fishing — this time to kids who love the sport or are learning,” said Negen.
• Dog TrainingTips, by Wade Stottler of Northern Plains Retrievers (2 p.m. in the auditorium)
“Wade is an experienced retriever trainer and is excited to bring his dogs and demonstrate training techniques anyone can use with their own dogs in their own backyard,” said Negen.
More than 125 exhibitors are expected at this year’s Expo, filling the auditorium, both gymnasiums, the wrestling room and the cafeteria.
“The school will be buzzing,” said Blauert. “No matter what age you are, there is something for you at this Expo. It will be a fun day.”
“We will have several food vendors again this year, serving in the cafeteria,” said Negen. “Everything at the Pope County Expo, except for items purchased at the food court is free.”
“The first 1,000 visitors will also get a free six-pack cooler, just for coming,” said Blauert. “And there are a lot of giveaways and drawings at the booths, too.”
Negen was named the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce executive director last fall, so the Expo is her first big chamber event. “I am really looking forward to meeting lots of people on April 6.”
There are still a few booths available, so businesses in the area that would like to be included in the Expo should contact the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce at 320-634-3636.
“We have a lot of booths taken, but we do have room for a few more exhibitors, and we offer several different size booths,” said Blauert. “And exhibitors do not have to be Pope County businesses.”
With thousands expected, parking can be a challenge. But the committee has worked hard over the years to relieve any parking issues.
“We will have a park-and-ride system set up again this year,” said Blauert. “Rainbow Rider will provide a free shuttle from Starbuck and Glenwood throughout the day. There will be shuttles coming and going from Minnewaska House, Shopko, American Solutions for Business and the Starbuck Community Center from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.”
In addition, there will be volunteers on hand to help exhibitors with loading and unloading.
For more information about the Pope County Expo, or to learn more about exhibiting at the Expo, contact Janelle or Kay at 320-634-3636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber and Welcome Center is located at 7 First Street NW, Glenwood, MN 56334. Learn more at www.glenwoodlakesarea.org.
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