Home & Holiday Expo attracts over one thousand attendees Saturday

BEDFORD – The Home and Holiday Expo filled those attending Saturday with the Christmas spirit at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County.

The line was out the front door of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County, as the first 100 people in attendance anxiously awaited their free holiday stockings. These precious stockings were fun filled with treats, vendor stocking stuffers and coupons. Other attendees were excited to receive a free Home and Holiday tee shirt.

Stockings and event t-shirts at the entry of the event provided by the event hosts Southern Indian’s Classic hits WQRK, WBIW 1340 AM and Litefm102.5.

There were plenty of vendors in attendance, offering many different options for those who stopped by the event to get some early Christmas shopping done. Participants shopped booths that showcased clothing, home decor, home essentials and home services.

Melissa Kelly with the Lawrence County CASA Program said this expo allows for a wider range of people to learn more about their program.

Attendees receiving a free Home & Holiday tee shirt from WQRK,WBIW and Litefm.

“I feel like this particular vendor fair has a wide variety of people that come through and there are people who come to this who wouldn’t come to other events, and it allows us to be present in front of a whole other audience,” Melissa said.

Melissa said that they tend to go to other events like the Lawrence County Fair or other similar events, but this event opens the door to a new group of individuals.

“We have gone to the fair grounds before and haven’t had a whole lot of traction there. The way that this expo is set up, it allows the opportunity for people to come by our booth to learn more about our non-profit and maybe want to help out with our program.”

Dianna Hardwick of Bedford was first in line this year and took her place in the line at 8:00 a.m. in anticipation of the event, saying she wouldn’t miss an event like this.

“Yeah I like to come to these. I have been to every event, whatever is around I’ll be there,” Hardwick said. “The goodie bags at the beginning and all of the samples provided in the event really make it worth while.”

Guests making their way around to each vendor on-site make a pit stop at Gutherie Creek Butchery to register for their give away.

Courtney Tomey and Jeanette Martin with Guthrie Creek Butchery love coming to events like the Home & Holiday Expo because it helps expand their brand.

“It helps to get the word out and our name out. These events help send a lot of people over to our shop, but we are hoping to reach a wider range of coverage in Bedford,” said Tomey. “It helps broaden our audience by getting people to shop locally, and even if they aren’t aware of our ads on the radio this gives them the opportunity to meet with us.”

Attendees shopping DNA Designs variety of apparel.

Martin and Tomey are happy to participate in an event that allows community members feel normal again.

“We didn’t really get a whole lot of opportunity to celebrate as a community last year with COVID, and I think people are just excited for Christmas this year,” said Tomey. “When I came in to set up Friday night, I got excited to see all of the Christmas décor set up.”

“People haven’t had a whole lot of opportunity to get out and do what they are used to doing with COVID, and this event allows people to feel like they are finally getting back to normal,” said Martin.

Jason Simmerman of Bedford won $50 in Santa Bucks.

Christmas music filled the air, putting the group in a festive spirit. There was plenty of refereshments to satisfy the munchies while shopping like 812 BBQ’s infamous nachos, Olde Time Popping’s kettle korn or perhaps just a hot beverage on a cold day like a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate.

Audrey Hoskins of Orleans was a winner of Santa Bucks!

Santa Bucks were in full swing, offering customers to register to win $50. The winners were excited to get the free $50 to spend at with the vendors at the Expo.

Ericka Gaines was another winner of the Santa Bucks!

A full list of Santa Buck winners included: Cinda Powell, Carla Bell, Mary Umphress and Jason Simmerman of Bedford, Erika Gaines of Mitchell, Audrey Hoskins of Orleans and Krista Peterson of Knightsville.

Holly Davis, President of Ad-Venture Media (WQRK, WBIW and WPHZ) had this to say about the event, “It was great to see so many people come out and support our local businesses at this event today. I love to host events and I love to offer these events free to our community members. We couldn’t have had such a great expo without the hospitality of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence County, our vendors or the Bedford Lions Club for providing our tables for this event and all events that we host.”