By TOMI WILEY
These days it seems more important than ever to shop locally to boost our economy and support businesses, schools, and development in our community. An ideal way to do just that, while checking off items on your holiday shopping list, is at the Wilson Living Holiday Expo – and it’s just around the corner.
The Holiday Expo is an event hosted by Wilson Living Magazine that brings the best shops from in and around Wilson County to one location for shoppers to enjoy and get a head start on their holiday shopping.
“Our first expo was held in November 2009 at the Mill at Lebanon,” said Wilson Living co-founder Becky Andrews. “We had more than 60 vendors and 3,000 shoppers come through the doors. It was a huge success for our vendors, the community and Wilson Living. I think last year’s event encouraged those vendors to sign up for this year’s Holiday Expo.” The event was born from the same adventurous, generous spirit from which the magazine began, Andrews said.
“When we started planning the one year anniversary edition of Wilson Living, Angel and I wanted to do something for the people – our readers and advertisers – who had supported our efforts to bring a local lifestyle magazine to the area. We decided to try to host an event similar to Christmas Village. We used the same reasoning we used when we decided to start a magazine, ‘There’s nothing like this in our area. Why not start it and see what happens?’”
More than 70 vendors for this year’s Expo were confirmed as of mid-October, with many more expected. The Expo will be held at the Mill at Lebanon again this year.
“The Mill is a fantastic event facility,” Andrews said. “It truly is one of Wilson County’s most unique historic properties. The staff at the Mill just clicked with our staff and made the first expo run smoothly.”
The dates for this year’s expo is Friday, November 19, and Saturday, November 20, and Santa will be visiting on both days to take photos, or he can just take your order for Christmas.
“His hours will vary because he’s so busy getting his list ready,” Andrews admitted. “We were very fortunate to have Santa this year. I spoke to him just last week, and he said he’s been very impressed with Wilson County this year. With the floods in May, refurbishing Don Fox Park, and Sherry’s Run, he says that Wilson County residents showed the true meaning of community.”
The Expo will be a bit different this year, Andrews said, beginning with just one food vendor. Wildberry Cakes and Catering will be serving soups, salads, drinks and desserts available for purchase both days.
“We have a really good mix of vendors. For people who want to get started on Christmas shopping you can attend the Expo and get it all done in one place,” Andrews said. “The home improvement vendors that have signed up are returning from last year’s Expo and use it as a way to reach thousands of potential customers in two days.”
If you’re interested in being a vendor, there is space for 91 vendors this year so there’s still a chance to reserve a booth, but space is limited. If you’d like to reserve a booth call Stacey Meadows at 615-364-8180 or email Stacey@wilsonlivingmagazine.com.
Sponsors this year include: Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp; Cracker Barrel; University Medical Center; Wilson Bank and Trust; Clear Channel Communications; The Wilson Post; The Mill at Lebanon; Party Providers, and Wilson Living Magazine.
The Holiday Expo is a free event. Doors open at noon on Friday and close at 8 p.m. Saturday hours will be from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
“This is such a fun event. Our vendors work hard to bring the best they have to offer to the community and they have fun doing it,” Andrews said. “It takes a lot of hard work to bring this to Wilson County, but we have the hardest working team of women. There’s no way we could pull this off without the help of our Wilson Living ladies. We are going to have three big giveaways this year. If you want a chance to win or to just see what we’re giving away, you have to visit the expo. This year’s expo is going to be awesome. We expect to double the number of shoppers we had last year, and we can’t wait!”
For more information visit www.wilsonlivingexpo.com.
List of vendors include…
Amy Rich Photography
Dove Chocolate Discoveries
Favorite Things by Fran
Friends in Stitches
GG’s Jewelry & Gifts
Hat Creek Embroidery
Hickory Bluff Farms
Spoil Me S’mo
It Works Global, Ultimate Applicator
Liberty Mutual Insurance
New York Life
Red Nose Lighting
Rodan & Fields
Roy Vaden Pools
Sharkey’s Gourmet Cookies
Silver Ridge Pottery
Tulip Grove Farms
Wilson Ba nk & Trust
More to come!