Business expo expands activities, vendors

Organizers are gearing up for the 2011 Business Expo, slated for Saturday at the Red Fern from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Once again, the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce and The River 98.9 radio station are teaming up to sponsor the expo."Last year we had 40 vendors and have added even more this year," said co-organizer John Salter of The River 98.9. "This year we have a variety of businesses and organizations from around the region.""The expo is open to both Chamber and non-Chamber businesses," said Paula Weyant, St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce event coordinator. "There is no admission fee for the expo, which is open to the public."A new feature this year will be Elk Regional Health Center's "Heart to Heart Fair," with screenings, heart health information and education material. Samples of heart-healthy food will also be available. The fair is being held in observance of February's National Heart Month. Inside the back room of the Red Fern, several area doctors will be on hand to consult with attendees about heart concerns.State Representative Matt Gabler (R-Elk/Clearfield) and members of his staff will be in attendance throughout the entire event to meet with constituents.The Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA), along with the Flemish House Gallery and Jacob Himes, is sponsoring a PA Wilds art exhibit.Local artist Ginger Himes is hosting a Chalk Talk demonstration at 11 a.m. She plans to create an eagle as part of her creation.Many vendors will be selling their items, offering taste testings, taking orders for items and setting up appointments."This project is really to give people in our area an opportunity to really get to see all the businesses available in our region," Salter said. "This is an ideal chance to market a business, especially to a large audience."As part of the vendor's registration, they receive an entire marketing package, with their business or organization being featured on both the Chamber's and The River's websites, as well as in radio and newspaper ads.Weyant added that businesses may begin setting up starting at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.