Expo supplies folks with info, trinkets & treats
November 12. 2013 11:52AM
Sioux Falls resident Carolynne Neumann ventured out of her city Saturday, making visits to events in two communities situated east of the state’s largest city: Luverne, Minn., and Brandon.
“I had a deal in the mail from Luverne about an open house art show, and my sister told me about this (the Expo),” she said, armed with an oversized bag, a free gift from Clark Insurance in exchange for a minute of her time and a few facts about her current home and home insurance coverage.
“It’s been a good deal day,” she said, adding she’d found a bargain on bed sheets earier in the day, too.
The fifth annual Brandon Expo proved to be a “good deal day for many,” as it drew 743 folks of all ages through the doors of Brandon Valley High School, where 36 vendors – all members of the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce – set up shop to show off their wares and services.
Dana Clark, owner of the local insurance agency featuring the Clark name, said she returns as a vendor to the Expo each year simply for visibility in the community “to get the word out, and for us especially because of the conversion,” she said.
Clark said she increased the number of trinkets – bags, calendars, Post-It Notes, lanyards – to give away by 50 percent over last year.
“We had a great turnout,” she said as she packed up the few remaining bags.
“Everybody that stopped by, we asked where they’re from. In past years, many people said they were visiting relatives and got drug to this. This year, there was a great, solid local turnout.”
Julie Mudder of Brandon said she stopped by the Expo “just for the fun to see what Brandon has,” she said. “I also bring my daughter along to make it a mom and daughter day.”
This was the second year Brandon residents Don and Gwen Branson attended the Expo. Gwen said they came back because of last year’s experience there.
“We sure enjoyed it,” she said.
As Kim Cerwick, executive director of the BVACC, was taking down Chamber signs once the five-hour event had closed, she summed up the day as “a lot of fun.”
Similar to last year, the BVACC’s fundraising committee had a variety of kid-friendly activities and events on tap, including a magician, balloon animals, clowns, a coloring contest, and even free cotton candy – that was until the machine went down.
“Sadly, the cotton candy machine broke down,” Cerwick said, “but we substituted full-sized candy bars for it, so no one seemed too disappointed.”
A Chamber-organized display titled – “Things you can buy in Brandon” – proved to be a popular stop for Expo-goers.
“People seemed interested and surprised what they can buy here,” she said, “especially with Ace (Hardware), they didn’t know many of these items were available here.”