The Calais Lioness recently held their first ever “The All I Want for Christmas Expo.” This one-stop shopping extravaganza featured local businesses, artisans, consultants, and organizations all under one roof at the Calais Motor Inn.
Approximately 250 shoppers came out to support the Lioness’ efforts of promoting shopping locally. Each was charged a $2 admission fee that benefited the Lioness’ charities fund. The vendors on hand were not charged for space; however, each donated an item or gift certificate to a Chinese raffle that also benefited the Lioness charities.
Much like the club’s popular Superdraw held each summer during International Homecoming Festival, this raffle was just as exceptional. Lioness Laurel Perkins said, “Our expectations were exceeded with the success of the raffle. The prizes donated were amazing and the number of tickets we sold was much greater than anticipated.” She reported that there were sixty items available to take a chance on winning.
Shoppers at the Lioness event not only enjoyed the convenience of having 45 merchants under one roof, they also took advantage of the socializing aspect involved. Calais resident Ann Brackett stated, “I loved it and had so much fun…shopping and talking with friends. What a great crowd!”
Baileyville resident Jane Smith said she came to see what the buzz was about. Having two daughters participating for two separate businesses, and another a member of the Lioness Club, she was happy to have completed so much of her holiday shopping at one destination. “Not only did this event save me time on my Christmas shopping, I am pleased that I was able to support so many local merchants.” She also explained that the array of goods and services was “simply amazing.”
The Calais Motor Inn had beverages available from their dining room bar, and the ladies of Lioness provided free hors d’oeuvres. Vocalists Meghan Clark and Kylie Donovan volunteered to sing Christmas carols, and saxophonist Sam Coltart entertained the crowd with his music.
The participating merchants and organizations in the Lioness’ “The All I Want for Christmas Expo” were pleased with the turnout, and many have already requested to return next year. Local businesswoman Debbie Taylor described the event as “a mini-mall all in one room.” She added, “It gave us, the businesses, the opportunity to sell our goods, socialize with the public, and make the public aware of our offerings.”
Insurance agent Teresa Kowalski agreed, stating, “It was great to meet and network with so many other local businesspeople.” She also took the time to shop around at the various booths, allowing her to shorten her holiday list.
Because of the positive feedback and evident success of the event, the Calais Lioness Club will be making the one-stop shopping destination an annual event. Like their Christmas Parade which is held annually on the first Friday of December, they hope to make this something the community can look forward to each and every holiday season.