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Trade Show makes triumphant return

HOULTON, Maine – This past weekend marked a return to normalcy for the many vendors and patrons of the Southern Aroostook Trade Show.

After a two-year hiatus, the trade show returned to the John A. Millar Civic Center, showcasing some of the latest trends in lawn mowers, gardening supplies and outdoor equipment.

“We were a little light on vendors, but those that we did have really did a fabulous job with their booths,” said Jane Torres, executive director for the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce. “I really don’t know what is left in some of these guy’s stores because they brought so much here.”

Preparations for the event typically begin several months before the actual trade show opens to the public.It requires lots of hours and a dedicated group of professionals invested in making their booths interesting to the viewers, according to Torres.

Torres said aside from the commercial side of things, the trade show also served as a social event.

“I have heard from so many people who were just happy to be back, talking with each other, and supporting one another,” she said.

Several of the booths at the trade show served to raise awareness and money for local causes, like the Littleton Playground Committee and Houlton and Hodgdon Project Graduation. Many booths had raffle tickets people could purchase for a variety of prizes. Others focused on selling goods or services.

Buster the bunny, a rabbit featured at the Serendipitous Dragonflies exhibit, proved to be one of the more popular attractions. 

Saturday’s nice weather resulted in a lighter than anticipated attendance. The numbers rebounded Sunday as much of the day was in a constant drizzle. She estimated attendance figures to be around 1,500 people.

“Everyone is so happy that this event was back,” Torres said. “You just never know how things are going to go. It was great.”

HOULTON, Maine — April 9, 2022 — Erin Watson speaks to a visitor at the Littleton Playground Revitalization Project booth at the Southern Aroostook Trade Show Saturday in Houlton. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — April 9, 2022 — Brookside Inn was one of many vendors at this year’s Southern Aroostook Trade Show. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — April 9, 2022 — A wide array of lawn mowers and tractors were on display at the Southern Aroostook Trade Show this past weekend in Houlton.  (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — April 9, 2022 — Karen Donato of the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum speaks with a visitor Saturday morning at the Southern Aroostook Trade Show in Houlton. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — April 9, 2022 — Cameron Smith (left) checks out Buster the bunny being held by Katie Sloat of Serendipitous Dragonfly (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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