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Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce presents annual Community Fair and Retail Expo this Sunday

By Staff | Jan 26, 2011

Dan Budd (of Wildseed Construction), Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Bridgit Stone-Budd, and sponsor representatives Mark Hamblin (Fort Myers Pest Control), Blanaid Colley (Hillgate Communications), Quinton Foshee (Coffee Bar @Bailey’s), Barb Harrington (Royal Shell Property Management) and Richard Johnson (Bailey’s), invite everyone in the community to experience the fun of the Chamber’s Community Fair and Retail Expo on Sunday.

In season, thousands of people move through the Sanibel Community House — whether to support a local organization’s fundraiser, to enjoy some music and dancing, listen to live performances and lectures or just to get to know their neighbors.

And this Sunday, the Community House is sure to be all abuzz with representatives from ever facet of island life.

On Sunday, Jan. 30, the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Community Fair and Retail Expo at the Community House, bringing together all the best that Sanibel and Captiva have to offer.

“The original purpose was for island businesses to get to know each other and to keep business on the island, member to member, to let people know about all the wonderful things you can find on Sanibel and Captiva. We wanted to keep businesses working together locally,” Stone-Budd said.

Though the event originally started under island patriarch Sam Bailey, who passed away last year, the Chamber Retail Expo eventually lost momentum.

Richard Johnson of Bailey’s General Store and Barb Harrington of Royal Shell Property Management laugh it up on the playground. Bailey’s will be providing free food and drinks for Community Fair attendees on Sunday

But four years ago, Stone-Budd helped to revive the event with some family-focused components.

“We always hold the event at the community house, and we set up approximately 60 vendor tables on the inside. But outside we have food and games, a bounce house and slide and, this year, we’ll have face-painting, caricature drawings, a Sanibel fire truck for photo opportunities and an emcee and DJ,” Stone-Budd said,

As always, Stone-Budd added, Bailey’s General Store will be providing delicious treats for fair-goers free of charge and, for the second year in a row, the Fort Myers High ROTC color guard will perform in uniform during the event’s opening ceremony.

Each vendor who sets up a table at the Expo will also contribute an item to be raffled off throughout the event — but the raffle prize that’s sure to draw the most attention is a beautiful piece of jewelry from Congress Jewelers, the Chamber Community Fair and Retail Expo presenting sponsor.

In addition to local businesses, various non-profits, such as the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and the Sanibel-Captiva chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, will also be represented at the Expo.

Presenting sponsor Congress Jewelers contributed this piece of jewelry for the Community Fair and Retail Expo raffle.

Barb Harrington, who started attending the Expo as a vendor and now works with Royal Shell Property Management, one of this year’s event sponsors, said that the the fair and expo is one way businesses and consumers can get reacquainted — both socially and economically.

“The Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce’s Community Fair and Retail Expo is a great way to reconnect with returning seasonal residents and to chat about what’s new with your business and on the island,” Harrington said.

Stone-Budd agreed, noting that the fair and expo is also a great opportunity for families to get reacquainted.

“It’s free and open to everyone and it’s meant to be fun for the whole community,” Stone-Budd said. “We run the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that people still have a chance to go to church and the farmer’s market — but after they’re done, they can walk, bike or drive over to the Community House and have fun just spending time together.”

The Sanibel Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way. Additional parking will be available at the Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater across the street.

The 2011 Sanibel-Chamber of Commerce 2011 Community Fair and Retail Expo is sponsored by Congress Jewelers, ‘Tween Waters Inn, Fort Myers Pest Control, Royal Shell Property Management, ShopOnSanibel.com and the Coffee Bar @Bailey’s.

For more information about the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce, go to www.Sanibel-Captiva.org‘>www.Sanibel-Captiva.org or call 472-1080.

From left to right are Retired Army Master Sergeant, Jesse Brown, Billy's Bike Shop segway tour guide Ryan Schuetz, Cadet Private 1st Class Omar Garcia, Cadet Sergeant Eli Budd, Cadet Sergeant Jordan Kerr, Cadet Sergeant Jimmy Penalosa and Billy Kirkland of Billy’s Bikes. For the second year in a row, the Fort Myers High ROTC Color Guard will open the Community Fair with a special ceremony.