Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce members have joined together as participants in the chamber’s 3rd Annual EXPO, TASTE & FUN Fest to be held at Walled Lake Central High School on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event is open to the public.
The $5 admission price includes a TASTE ticket which enables the ticket holder to sample foods from all TASTE Fest participants. These include Buttercream Bakery; CJ’s Brewing Company; Commerce Breakfast Club; Costco Wholesale; Edible Arrangements; Frankie’s Pizza; Happy’s Pizza; Heather’s Happy Hour; and Leo’s Coney Island. Children under 12 are admitted free. Additional tickets can be purchased at the event.
Jo Louise Alley, the chamber’s executive director, said the TASTE ticket obtained upon entry can be used to sample the food of all 10 participating eateries.
“You get that one ticket and take it around to the booths and get it punched by each restaurant,” she said. “If you really like something, or have children with you — who are admitted free of charge — you can buy added tickets, which are two for $1.
“We ask that the restaurants provide 2 ounce samples, but you might get a small slice of pizza or a little cup of soup, for example,” she said. “For the price you paid, you end up being pretty satisfied when you’re done.”
In addition to hourly prize drawings, new cars and trucks will be on display in the school’s parking lot and, indoors, there will be an activity area for children featuring a clown, face painting and a magician.
Informative workshops will also be hosted by Lakes Area Chamber members. Topics for the workshops include: Painting Techniques, presented by Wright Renovations; Happy Hour Highlights, presented by Heather’s Happy Hour; Buying and Selling Real Estate in 2011, presented by Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel; Jazzercise demonstration, presented by Studio A Center for Performing Arts; How to Clean the Dirtiest Carpet in the World, presented by Modern Floors/Carpet One; Pet Safety and CPR, presented by Veterinary Care Specialists; and Safe Driving Techniques presented by Allstate Insurance.
Alley said the EXPO, TASTE & FUN Fest is important for chamber members because it provides them with an unique opportunity to come face-to-face with members of the community.
“We’re also trying to get residents of the community to think about shopping local,” she said. “That’s a big thing we’re trying to push, and one of our main focuses. We want people to know that probably everything they need is available right here in their own community, and there’s no need to leave the community. When you spend here, it supports the local communities.
“This event gives our members a chance to show the community what they have to offer,” she added. “For restaurants, this can be the only way to get people to see what they have to offer, since the residents may not come into their businesses otherwise. Some people in the community may not even know our members are doing business in the area.”
According to Alley, Hines Park Ford representatives told her after last year’s EXPO, TASTE & FUN Fest that any chamber member that didn’t participate in the event lost out on an incredible opportunity to showcase their products and services and come face-to-face with hundreds of prospective customers and vendors.
“This is a fun and relaxed atmosphere coupled with great food,” Alley said. “It’s our way of trying to provide an avenue for our members to get before more people in our communities. There are other expos out there, but no others in this part of the lakes area. Our community was not used to having an opportunity to go to an expo in their own backyard — they had to go outside to places like Novi. The chamber’s focus is on business, and this allows us to get our members exposed to the community.
“It’s also a great way to reach out to businesses to bring in new members,” Alley said. “New businesses recognize how important it is to get customers in as soon as possible. This can increase the membership for the chamber and increase the strength of the business community in the area.”
The event is presented by the Spinal Column Newsweekly. Supporting sponsors include DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, Dwyer and Sons Volvo Subaru, Farm Bureau of Michigan, Henry Ford Self Health Center, Hines Park Ford and Huron Valley State Bank.
Discount coupons for 50 percent off the admission price are available at participating businesses, as well as at the Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce office at 305 N. Pontiac Trail, Suite A, in Walled Lake.
The Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, with offices in Walled Lake, has served the communities of Commerce Township, Union Lake, Walled Lake, Waterford, White Lake, Wixom and Wolverine Lake since 1963.