By Ryan Cornell
While Tradefest blows out 20 candles on its cake this Wednesday, the annual event has changed quite a bit since its teenage years.
Hosted by the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, Tradefest will have 40 exhibitors from Warren County, as well as some from Shenandoah County and Winchester, displaying their products and services from booths.
"I think that the reach of Tradefest is pretty broad," said Chamber President Niki Foster. "It's good for businesses to network with other businesses and show their services to community members. And it's good for residents, who can come and see what's available in the area."
She said exhibitors include local banks, marketing and public relations companies, Information Technology, coffeehouses and exterminators. The event is free to attend and is open to the public.
Foster said there have been some new updates added to the 20th annual event.
"Tradefest has gotten a complete overhaul this year," she said.
What has traditionally been a two-day convention has been cut in half, open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Front Royal.
Tradefest is also introducing its first Entrepreneurs Café, held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. For $10, visitors can watch and vote for one of five community entrepreneurs who will each be delivering a five minute pitch presentation. Foster said they will share what types of businesses they own and how they plan to move forward with it, such as opening a storefront or investing in advertisements, in an effort to win a $500 cash grant as well as free marketing services.
Leading the Café will be a 30-minute presentation by Miles Davis. Davis, dean of the Harry F. Byrd School of Business at Shenandoah University, will speak about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Foster said there are still a few spaces left for exhibitors who haven't signed up yet.
For more information, visit the event's Facebook page at facebook.com/tradefest or call the Chamber of Commerce at 540-635-3185.
The Northern Virginia Daily is one of several businesses participating in Tradefest as a media sponsor.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org