May 24—The 29th annual Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo will showcase the variety of goods and services that more than 120 local and area businesses offer to the public.
Oh, and swag — can't forget all the free swag.
"The expo is our largest event of the year," said Erin Slifka, marketing and public information manager for the chamber. "We are excited to see everyone come back together to make in-person connections and learn about products and services that are available in the greater Joplin area."
Held once again at Downstream Casino & Resort, the two-day event was cancelled last year because of the pandemic, and was pushed from January to late May this year due to health risks. The event normally attracts thousands of visitors.
"For the safety of expo exhibitors and attendees," Slifka said, "we chose to delay expo this year."
With a "Most Excellent 80s" theme, in which attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite 1980's period clothing and hair styles, the event will open from noon to 7 p.m. today for the business community only. Guests will be admitted by showing an identifying business card. An after-hours celebration will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., featuring a signature cocktail called "Pretty in Pink" and will be open for those ages 21 and older. There will also be contests for best mullet, biggest hair and best 80's outfit, as well as a Glamour Shot with photos taken by Athena Companies.
The expo will open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday. Admission that day is $5; children five and under get in free. All events during the expo take place at the resort's Grand Pavilion.
Slifka said, "This is a great opportunity for individuals to learn about new products and services that are available in the area, in addition to making business-to-businesses connections."
Kevin McClintock is features editor for The Joplin Globe.