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Any of the more than 800 visitors to the Chamber of Commerce’s Community Showcase, entitled, “Grow with Shelby County,” would agree that event was even bigger and better than last year.
The exhibits and booths spilled out of the Shelby County High School gym into the school’s foyer and even into the parking lot, where a Farm Safety demonstration was put on by Judy White, who has a dairy farm in Southville, and Jessica Woods, a 4-H horse leader who brought one of her horses to the event.
Shelley Goodwin, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said 60 businesses had booths this year, up about 10 percent from last year.
“We were down a little bit in attendance this year, but we were pleased overall,” she said.
Activities included a chili lunch sponsored by the Bagdad Jr. Fire Department, as well as a Karate demonstration in the gym and a grand prize give-away.
There were also plenty of things for kids to do, and many wondered around with their faces painted, munching on treats, and visiting a booth set up by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, who were doing Kid IDs.
“we have done about 30 already said Eric Hettinger, shortly before noon.
Holly Husband, public relations director for Jewish Hospital Shelbyville, who manned the hospital’s booth, said she had participated in the Showcase since it started seven years ago, and had never seen such an enthusiastic crowd.
“People have been very interested in our services, especially our men’s health fair coming up in June and the women’s health fair in May,” she said.
Husband added that visitors also showed a great deal of interest in the hospital’s Smoking Cessation program,” she said.
“And they love these little 0stress balls we’ve been giving out, too,” she said with a laugh.
Ashley Smith and Emily Simmons at the Parks and Recreation booth said they had quite a few people stop by at their booth, also.
“People want to know about the FAC (Family Activities Center) and what is going to be going on there for its 10th anniversary, and they’re also asking about the dog park,” Smith said.
Melanie Cox of Shelbyville, who was visiting the Parks and Rec booth, said she may even take her dog out there when it is constructed.
“She’s a small Chiquaqua, so she doesn’t need a lot of room, but it might be fun,” she said.
David Bowling, president of Citizens Union Bank, said he also had a lot of people stop in at his booth.
“We have had a lot of people interested in our special Home Equity Promotion, and that’s a good sign for the economy,” he said.
At the Shelbyville Police Department’s booth, Officer Istvan Kovacs said people
were interested in neighborhood watch programs, and the children were going for the free coloring books and crayons.
“People are concerned about trying to keep crime down in their neighbors and just trying to make them safer for their kids,” he said.