‘There is something for everyone’

The Pope County Expo is returning on Saturday, April 4, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. to the Minnewaska Area High School near Glenwood. This is the 10th annual Pope County Expo, one of the largest free events in the area.

More than 100 vendors are expected again at this year’s Pope County Expo, many of which will be set up in the Minnewaska Area High School gymnasium. Contributed photo

“The Expo has something for everyone and all but the food is free! It is a family-friendly event and has something for all ages,” said Janelle Negen, executive director of the Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Expo committee member, “This is the biggest event the chamber puts on each year, and we are all looking forward to it.”

More than 100 vendors are expected for this year’s Pope County Expo.

“It is a great way for businesses, direct sales, nonprofits, home based businesses and other groups to showcase what they have to offer,” said Janelle Negen. “It is a great way for people to find out about the products and services we have in the area.”

Besides the vendors, there are also inflatables, glitter tattoos, a virtual realty simulator and the always popular Erickson’s Petting Zoo.

“The kids always enjoy the goats, ponies, bunnies and other animals,” said Negen.

New this year will be the 4-H STEM Interactive Experience, which will give kids an opportunity to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related activities.

“The Pope County 4-Hers will be offering this in the back corner of the gymnasium,” said Negen.

Special events, each lasting about 30-45 minutes, are offered throughout the day. They include:

One popular activity at the Pope County Expo is the Stuff N’ Fluff. This year, there will be five sessions of the Stuff N’ Fluff. Kids will be making stuffed bunnies this year. As always, this activity and all activities/presentations are completely free at the Pope County Expo. Contributed photo

• Just for Kix Presentation (9:30 a.m.)

• Stuff N’ Fluff Bunny Stuffed Animals (9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m., 2 p.m.)

“This is such a popular event each year that we added a fifth session so more kids can take part in it,” said Negen.

• “Promoting Your Child’s Development (Birth-8 yrs.) with Purposeful Play,” by Pediatric Therapy Services, Glacial Ridge Health System. (10:45 a.m.)

“The Minnewaska National Honor Society is offering free childcare during this program,” Negen added.

• Meal planning cooking demonstration by Dr. Laura Huggins, Glacial Ridge Health System.

“This was a popular presentation last year so Dr. Huggins is back again this year,” said Negen.

• “Integrative Strategies for Fighting Cancer in Pets,” by Dr. Jean Hollenstein, Glacial Ridge Vet Clinic. (11:30 a.m.)

• “Self Defense Techniques,” by Officer Amber Wasiloski, Starbuck Police Department. (2 p.m.)

• Junior Lakers Dance Team & Dance Workshop by Tana Ziesmer, Minnewaksa Lakers Dance Team coach.

Everything mentioned so far is absolutely free. In fact, the only thing that does cost something is the food. Several food vendors will be on hand, serving a variety of food options including pulled pork, pizza, hot beef and more.

Like last year, Dr. Laura Huggins (right) from Glacial Ridge Health System, will give a cooking demonstration at this year’s Expo. Contributed photo

Getting to and from the Pope County Expo is free.  Expo goers can park in the Minnewaska Area High School parking lot for free, or they can take the free Park & Ride shuttle service. With thousands expected for the Expo, buses will be coming and going three different times from three different locations in Pope County — American Solutions for Business (9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.), Minnewaska House (9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m.) and the Starbuck Community Center (9:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m.).

There are still some booths available, so businesses in the area that would like to be included in the Expo should contact the Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. For booth info, or for general information on the Expo, call 320-634-3636 or email chamber@glenwoodlakesarea.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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