Trade fair numbers strong

Scott Mitchell Johnson, Special to The County
10 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — While Sunday’s bad weather affected the attendance at the Agri-Business Trade Fair in Presque Isle, organizers say the 34th annual event was still a success.
    “Saturday’s attendance was exceptional; I think we probably broke some records,” said Fort Fairfield Town Manager Michael Bosse. “However, Sunday was kind of a wash.

    “We did better than what I expected, but still it was rather slow, and a lot of the exhibitors were anxious to get on the road because the roads were getting sloppy,” he said. “Once that starts, it’s kind of hard to stop them; it’s like a domino effect.”

    Bosse estimated that between 2,500-2,700 people attended the trade fair Saturday, while about 1,000 braved the elements Sunday.

    “Our goal was 4,000, which is typically what we do,” he said, “but I think we were just shy of that. We probably saw in the 3,500-3,700 range, which is still very good. Had the weather been better Sunday, we probably would have reached — if not surpassed — our goal.”

    Nearly 50 exhibitors were on hand for the spring tradition, which is held at The Forum.

    “We sold out of booth spaces in January, and had a waiting list of about 15 vendors,” said Bosse. “Over the weekend I had 2-3 businesses come up to me and say, ‘Please send me the information for next year,’ so I think as far as the exhibitors were concerned, the show went very well.

    “The show is building every year, and some of the exhibitors talk to other businesses and suggest that they be in the show,” he said. “They talk it up quite a bit, and consequently I got quite a few calls [from businesses that wanted to be in the show] after we sold out. Hopefully those businesses that were on the waiting list will be there next year. All in all I’m very happy with how the show went.”

    This year’s trade fair saw at least one new vendor, Inject A Seal, which is based in Caribou.

    “This summer will be my third year in business,” said owner Dwayne H. Blackwell. “I heard about the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce putting this show on, which reaches a different audience. I’ve attended the show before as a member of the public, and knew this would be a good way to give my business more exposure.

    “To get the word out about a relatively new business, you’ve got to be a go-getter and self-motivated,” he said. “The show has been going well. I’m happy with the traffic that we’ve had.”
    Blackwell explained that Inject A Seal is a polymeric injectable foam insulation.

    “I can go in and retrofit any older home that is not insulated. We live in an envelope, and if that envelope is not properly insulated, you’re wasting your money on fuel regardless of how you’re heating your home,” he said. “This will seal it tight and seal it right.”

    Among the benefits of the injectable foam insulation are that it reduces energy bills by as much as 50 percent, it’s flexible enough to reach into areas that other insulations can’t, it dramatically reduces noise, it features a Class 1/A fire rating, repels moisture, mold, mildew and vermin, and is easy to install with no mess.

    “What I like about it is it’s eco-safe, eco-smart and economical,” said Blackwell. “I’ve done 40-some homes so far. I’m a client myself. I know what it does for me and I know what it’s capable of doing for other people.”

    FMI on Inject A Seal, call Blackwell at 325-1479.

    The Agri-Business Trade Fair also saw demonstrations and 4-H animals, while the Maine Agri Women sold french fries that were donated by McCain Foods, and local queens served milk and cookies for area children.