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Momentum builds for Rosemount Home and Business Expo

The first ever Rosemount Home and Business Expo was held last year and will return for a second time March 16. Kara Hildreth / Contributor

Rosemount Port Authority discussed marketing to attract more foot traffic at the second annual Rosemount Home and Business Expo, scheduled 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at Rosemount Community Center.

Rosemount City Administrator Logan Martin commented during the Port Authority meeting Jan. 15, how attendance numbers last year at the inaugural event were estimated to be 500 since that is the number of bags given away during the event.

"We have enough bags to double that this year and it would be nice to see 1,000," Martin said. "We had fairly good weather last year, but we also had some parking issues with competing events happening in the same building."

Rosemount City Council member Tammy Block said the correct messaging would give residents a reason to attend the event.

"I think the key is the messaging and what is in it for the residents," Block said. "It is really pushing why you want to come."

Council member Heidi Freske said residents soon will be busy prepping their yards for spring and the event could offer information on lawn care or landscaping for the spring thaw.

"Maybe it is a bullet on how to come and learn something new about that," she said. "I do not think it needs to be a lot but just three or four bullet points on why I should come and what may resonate with me."

Rosemount Community Development Director Kim Lindquist said city staff decided to change the Expo date this year so it isn't competing with classroom space and can expand its offerings.

Rosemount City Council member Jeff Weisensel said the city used comments found on the citizens' survey to see what percentage of people feel the Expo is important. Suggestions ranged from vendors teaching do-it-yourself home improvement projects to understanding how a smart home works.

City Council member Paul Essler suggested looking at companies outside of Rosemount to set up booths at the Expo. Last year the invitations were sent to all Rosemount businesses and gave local businesses a reduced price to get a booth. Then city staff reached out to area businesses and builders from the community to expand the outreach.

If business owners need more information or wish to offer a booth, contact Stacy Bodsberg with the City of Rosemount at stacy.bodsberg@ci.rosemount.mn.us or 651-322-2051.

Farmington Community Expo set for Jan. 26

For two decades the Farmington Community Expo has grown in attendance and in local organizations and small businesses that showcase operations within the community's backyard. The 21st annual Farmington Community Expo will be 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 26, at Farmington High School.

Last year the event drew 2,500 people who learned about small businesses, youth sports, churches, organizations and civic groups.

Mandy Clementz, adult enrichment and community event coordinator for Farmington Community Education, said the organizers are looking forward to the popular event this year.

"We are proud to keep it local and our whole goal is for everyone to get to know and understand the products and services that are available in their own backyard," Clementz said.

The Expo will offer 100 booths with vendors. The event will again offer live entertainment in the recital hall from youth dance teams from Synergy Dance Center and Just For Kix dance group. The dancers will perform on stage, along with senior musicians who play delicate, stringed instruments from the Rambling River Center Dulcimers group.

"We will have Odin our police dog who will be with Farmington police officer Tipton, and they are going to show tricks and show off some defense training," said Clementz.

Guests can sit and watch the police dog show live at 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. in the auxiliary gym at the high school.

"We have moved the City of Farmington's booth to the area by the recital hall with a whole front wall display, and there is more space for the mascot dog and the firefighter and police," Clementz said. "We are continuing our tradition of showing off our Farmington businesses and promoting our local groups, and it is a big deal to a lot of our organizations and the businesses can promote everything they do."