ARDMORE, OK ― Folks in Ardmore are preparing for one the city's biggest events of the year. The annual Ardmore Chamber of Commerce Expo kicks off Saturday morning. Plenty of businesses, including KXII-TV, will be there. Our Daniel Armbruster has this preview.
More than 70 businesses are participating in this year's expo. The event starts Saturday morning, but the preparation has been going on for quite awhile.
Neal Courtney with the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce helped local businesses set up booths to ensure everything at the Ardmore Convention Center is running smoothly by Saturday morning.
Last year more than 1,000 people came through. Courtney says they are expecting a much bigger turnout this year.
"We identified that we wanted attendance maybe even higher this year, which is why we advertised it so heavily. So I’m expecting the attendance tomorrow to break some records," Courtney says.
The idea of the expo is to allow citizens to visit with a wide range of businesses all at once.
"Now if you were to try and do that on a Saturday afternoon anywhere else, you would never be able to see 70 businesses in such a short space of time. It would just be impossible," Courtney says.
One incentive for visitors is the freebies, as you can sample products.
"Budweiser will be here. They will be showing their products off to the public. Two Frogs Grill will be here showing their food and also talking about one of their concerts," Courtney said.
Cell Phones for Life is one of the businesses that will be on hand Saturday. The non-profit organization helps the elderly, disabled, and battered women's shelters by donating cell phones for use in emergency situations. For director Kathy Hyden, it's about giving back to her community.
"It makes people aware of what we do and then I give out free all the accessories and anything, chargers, batteries, for the people to just come and get if they need one. It's just one event that we always participate in," Hyden says.
The Expo will take place at the Ardmore Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It's free and open to the public, so come out and visit. Many KXII-TV staff members will be on hand to chat with you as well.