Trade show attendance numbers up

The 11th-annual Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce trade show was another success last weekend as people flocked to the curling club to check out what the exhibitors were offering this year.
“The numbers [for attendance] were up slightly from last year,” Chamber office co-ordinator Dawn Booth said Monday, adding it attracted 1,390 paid visitors Saturday and 958 on Friday.
Booth said the exhibitors also were pleased with the two-day show. “All the exhibitors seemed happy with the way it went,” she noted. “We’ve had lots of wonderful compliments.”
“I thought it was good. The traffic was up, and there were some new faces there,” said Bill Gushulak, owner of Fort Frances General Supply. “The weather helped us out quite a bit. Saturday it was too cold to do anything else.”
Gushulak focused on cleaning equipment and insect control products at his booth this year, both of which were often asked about during the show.
“We were quite successful with our insect control line due to the large number of houseflies that are in the area this year,” he said.
Some exhibitors were looking ahead to the Christmas season. Sears Canada, for instance, was showcasing some of its toys, including the new craze for toddlers–“Teletubbies.”
“They’re back-ordered until the first week of November,” said Roberta Oliver, owner-agent for Sears Canada here. “We sold them like hot cakes down [at the trade show] but we still have a couple left, which are available at the store.”
“They’re definitely going to be hot item this year,” she added.
Meanwhile, a Salvation Army food bank depository was set up at the trade show and people responded to it well. In fact, the Salvation Army continued to get cash and food donations after the trade show, netting about 300 pounds of food over a five-day span.
And Holmlund Financial Service’s booth at the trade show featured a putting contest for a loonie, which raised $121 for the Salvation Army.
There also was lots to see and do at the trade show, including skin care demonstrations by Mary Kay Cosmetics, wood carving by Brock Blosser of Kenora, massages by Karla Ryan with the Fort Frances Remedial Therapy Clinic, caricatures by Al Holt, a kids’ corner, and much more.
Opening ceremonies Friday night featured the Fort Frances Highlanders and the singing of “O Canada” by Mark Elliott. Chamber president Dr. Bruce Lidkea welcomed the exhibitors and visitors.
Top honours for “Best Booth” went to Maria Lichtenfeld of “Leave It To Me!” with its lavish wedding decor. Mary Ann Breton’s “Tupperware” booth came in second place while Phyllis Johnson’s “Crazy Ladies Fabrics” placed third.
A half-dozen door prizes also were up for grabs, with Stan Anderson of Emo winning the return airfare and two-night stay in Thunder Bay, courtesy of Bearskin Airlines and the Prince Arthur Hotel.
Joel Bone was the lucky winner of a wood carving by Brock Blosser, Hugh Geary won a cordless call-display telephone donated by Bell Canada, and Jeff Campbell won a framed print courtesy of Northwoods Gallery and Gifts.
Sid Brown and Kent Gate each received a $25 gift certificate from the Red Dog Inn, Maurice Fillion won a gift certificate from Sight & Sound, and Lori Gladu took home a Toronto Dominion Bank duffel bag.