Kent on display at community expo

By Thomas Gallick | Staff Writer Published:

Last year, the Kent Business and Community Expo set a new record for the most participating businesses, organizations and crafters in the event's history.

Organizers think a new record is within reach this year at the annual event set Saturday at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"I'm pretty confident we're going to meet or break (that record) this year," said Lori Wemhoff, executive director of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce.

Wemhoff said 118 spaces were rented at the expo in 2012, up 42 percent from the previous year. The rise in participants meant the Roosevelt gym could no longer hold the whole event.

"Last year was the first year we had to move out into the hallways," Wemhoff said. "We're going to do that again obviously this year."

The Haymaker Farmers' Market and the Kent Business and Community Expo shared Roosevelt last year for a dual event. Wemhoff said the market's move to Junction 211 on Cherry Street prevented the two events from teaming up again this year.

"They're doing great there," Wemhoff said. "(The organizers) were afraid if they moved for one week it would confuse not only the vendors, but the people who come every week."

The market's absence this year means the expo could expand to the Roosevelt atrium, which formerly housed the farmers's market, if space is a concern.

The expo's annual "Taste of Kent" will allow visitors to try out food from 12 of the city's eateries, including the recently opened Mary Ann Donuts and the yet-to-open Rise and Shine Cafe.

As in years past, Kent State University's athletic department will have a table at the expo, giving fans a chance to meet Flash the eagle and get ticket information.

"It gets bigger and better every year," Wemhoff said. "The turnout increases and the number of vendors increases."

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.