PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — An idea that first sparked four years ago has blossomed into a popular fall event in Aroostook County, and planners of this year’s Fall and Winter Expo have packed the two-day schedule with everything from picture frames and prizes to winter wellness tips and wood pellets.
The event, co-sponsored by WAGM-TV and the Northern Maine Community College Foundation, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3.
More than 40 exhibitors will attend this year’s event, displaying products and services such as alternative energy and technology, health and wellness tips and products, and winter sports and recreation gear.
More than $15,000 in prizes also are up for grabs at this year’s expo.
Vicki Smith, NMCC Foundation board member and chairwoman of the Fall and Winter Expo Committee, said late last week that this year’s expo features “the largest number and highest value of prizes for giveaways that we’ve had since this show has been presented.”
“Items valued at more than $15,000 will be given away to show attendees over the course of the weekend, including the ‘Live Easy This Winter’ prize package, which is causing quite a bit of buzz about this year’s show,” she said.
The fourth annual event has become as much an informational session as a venue for businesses to display their wares. In the past, the expo was packed with pellet stoves and other heating sources, snowshoes, snowmobiles and snowblower vendors, in addition to organizations that displayed information about winter sports. Vendors have offered help with choosing the best showshoes, finding local ski and snowmobile trails, and even given attendees a chance to try their hand at hockey and biathlon.
Kelly Landeen, WAGM-TV sales manager, said that those who attend this year’s event will have the opportunity to learn about the latest in alternative heating products, including wood, pellet, coal and biomass burning technology, as well as solar and wind energy.
Several exhibitors also will feature home improvement, decor and entertainment products, according to Landeen.
Health and wellness exhibits will be prominent at the expo. NMCC nursing students and medical assisting students will hold an educational health fair featuring numerous interactive displays on topics concerning well-being in the winter months.
Another feature this month is one that will make life for one Aroostook County family a bit easier this winter.
Thanks to the generosity of a number of County businesses, a unique prize package billed as “Live Easy This Winter,” will go to a lucky person who attends the expo.
The lead donation for the door prize, valued at more than $3,000, comes from Scott Carlin, NMCC alumnus and owner of the Star City (Presque Isle), Hillside (Fort Fairfield) and Mars Hill IGA supermarkets. Carlin, who is also president of the NMCC Alumni and Friends Organization and a director on the NMCC Foundation board, will provide the lucky winner with 12 $150 grocery gift certificates redeemable at his three central Aroostook stores. The $1,800 in groceries represents the average cost for a family of four at $150 a week through the winter season.
Joining Star City, Hillside and Mars Hill IGAs in providing the combined prize package is The County’s electric utility, Maine Public Service Co., which will provide three $100 gift certificates to cover the average electrical costs for three months of winter.
Three County-based oil dealers, Daigle Oil Co., Dead River Co. and Maine Potato Growers Energy Services division, are collaborating and enhancing the grand prize package by each contributing 100 gallons of heating oil. Additionally, Northeast Pellets of Ashland and Center Farms Coal of Easton will provide the equivalent of an average winter’s supply of wood pellets and coal, respectively. Fall and Winter Expo event coordinators intend to let the grand prize package winner decide which heating prize to accept. The remaining items will be given as prize drawings to two other winners.
Aside from the “Live Easy This Winter” prize package, other grand door prizes include a pellet stove donated by the County Stove Shop, a new snowblower donated by Aroostook Door and Window, four deluxe NASCAR tickets to the races in Loudon, N.H., donated by Levasseur’s Napa Auto and Truck Parts, and 50 Troll Beads donated by Country Collectibles.
For more information on the event, contact the NMCC Foundation at 760-1188 or WAGM-TV at 764-4461, ext. 253.