Expo wide shot

The 27th annual Business Expo and Marketplace enjoyed a large turnout from area businesses, organizations and community members.

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its 27th annual Business Expo and Marketplace event at Monterey Station in Cowan.

The event enjoyed a large turnout from area residents who came out to enjoy the festive atmosphere while getting a personal introduction to the many county businesses, organizations and vendors who set up booths within the spacious venue.

The theme of this year’s event was “Expo of the Decades,” and area vendors dressed up in the fashion and styles of their favorite decade.

Many of the technical and industrial businesses and organizations set up interactive displays and games which showcased the technology available to each respective vendor.

One of these vendors was Nissan North America Decherd, who had set up a collaborative robot, complete with a miniature robotic arm, made by FANUC America.

 Business Expo and Marketplace attendees and their children practiced taking control of this robotic arm with a joystick and then using the high-tech device to draw precise patterns on sheets of paper.

While the device was a fun way to show area residents some of the technology in use at the various Nissan North America plants, it also served to educate school-age attendees about the career paths of maintenance technologists, and the growing need for these skill sets in a wide range of industrial applications.

Just a short walk away from the Nissan display were representatives from the Swiss Pantry bakery in Belvidere, whose booth provided free samples of various handmade breads and other items to attendees.

These two popular booths represented two of the 85 total vendors who participated in this year’s event, which was the first Business Expo and Marketplace under the supervision of Michelle Earle, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.

 Earle and fellow Chamber team members Kayla Doney and Karlie Ball were on hand to support the businesses, organizations, and vendors who participated in the event.

“The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce is all about introducing the community to local businesses and vice versa,” said Earle.

Networking is critical, and the Business Expo and Marketplace event really accomplishes these goals, Earle said.

“We also want to thank event sponsor Rogers Group and the Winchester Home Depot for their donation of a gas grill door prize,” Earle added.

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s next event is “Casino Night”, and will be hosted at the Franklin County Country Club on September 28.

This event’s theme is “The Great Gatsby” and tickets are available at the Chamber office in Winchester.

Anyone interested in learning more about this event can email the Chamber at info@franklincountychamber.com  or call the Chamber at 931-967-6788.