Four people left $500 richer, but no one was able to claim the big prize of the day, the Chevy Malibu offered by drawing by John Decker Chevrolet. No one left empty handed, unless by choice however. The sixth annual Community Expo held March 20 was as well-attended as in past years. Booths of all types offered coupons, information, free gifts and goodies. Mike and Vanessa Carroll, along with daughter Jade, said the event has become like a reunion, a chance to interact with friends and talk with business owners they know. A day-long cold snap may have helped attendance by making an indoor event sound more appealing. Next year will be the seventh for the Community Expo, sponsored by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
Rockford Community Expo
They couldn’t give the money away fast enough The lesson for next year: stay longer. As the Rockford Community EXPO 2009 wound down, local celebrity Juliet Dragos couldn’t give the $500 door prizes away fast enough. “Must be present to win” was the key phrase as name after name was called with no takers. At quarter to closing time, the call “come to the stage, you are the winner” was starting to sound a little comical. Two prizes remained unclaimed, a cool grand for two different people… still there. It wasn’t for lack of visitors. According to Brenda Davis, Rockford Chamber executive director, the turnout was even higher than last year’s 11,000. Except for the cash prizes, no one was having any trouble giving things away. Several food vendors ran out early, with the Corner Bar going the distance with samples of white chicken chili. Corner Bar owner Andy Tidey said, “There is only so much chili two people can scoop into cups in six hours.” He said the restaurant gave out 45 gallons of chili, or the equivalent of 1,700 servings. “It’s great exposure for us. There are a lot of people who don’t know we have that every day,” he stated. “We are always busy the entire six hours with a line going around the corner, so it didn’t make any difference for us. We could have been the only food or one of 12 vendors.” Dr. Michael Shibler, Superintendent of Rockford Schools, said the event was again a tremendous success and a win-win for the community. “It’s held here in a building built with our tax dollars. The entertainment is by students from all ages of our district, who are also products of this community,” he said. “For many people who come here, this is the first time they’ve been in this building. They can see first-hand how their tax dollars are spent.” See you at next year’s EXPO-and don’t leave early.
The fifth annual Rockford Community Expo is coming up soon, on Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes, Rockford. With over 180 booths – again a sold-out event – the day will be full of music by Rockford students, celebrities, displays, deals and giveaways from businesses as well as four $500 door prize cash gifts to four lucky winners. Last year’s Expo drew over 11,000 visitors and this year promises to be even better. See some participating businesses on page 5 of this week’s Squire and watch for next week’s Expo article for more information.