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Exhibitors at textile show eager to repeat

Staff writer

The first annual Marion County Textile Trunk Show Saturday and Sunday in Marion was deemed a success by organizers Jeanine Thomas, Jan Davis, and Marion County Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman.

At least 17 vendors had displays and many were planning to return next year. Huffman said several offered to help with organizing and marketing the 2012 event.

Vendors came from Hutchinson, McPherson, Emporia, Dwight, and Wichita, as well as Hillsboro and Marion. Their booths filled the two floors of the Marion Community Center.

“We wanted to showcase the community center and promote local merchants,” Thomas said.

She said vendors were pleased with the spaciousness of the facilities and the “red carpet treatment” they received.

Marion Advancement Campaign provided the facilities free of charge. Western Associates provided grids for wall hangings, as well as torsos and heads for displaying clothes and hats. Gene Winkler managed the loudspeaker system for the program presentations on Sunday and stayed around to make sure it was working right.

“We couldn’t have done it without all of them,” Thomas said.

Huffman’s department promoted the event by advertising in specialty magazines geared to attract visitors from outside the area. She said the turnout was “very good,” especially for the Sunday afternoon programs.

Nancy Jo Leachman of Salina gave a presentation about historic flour sacks. Huffman said Leachman told her she had never been at a better-organized event.

Tables and chairs set up in the basement provided a casual place to eat and visit. Huffman said attendees appreciated the food provided by Gretchen Unruh.

“I like anything that has a lot of community participation,” Huffman said. “This being our first year, we were satisfied and most vendors were satisfied.”

A committee of eight volunteers already has been organized to plan for next year’s event. Thomas said they received many ideas from vendors and visitors on ways to market and enhance the show. They are hoping the show will become a day-trip destination for people from throughout the state.

Last modified Nov. 9, 2011

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