By LISA HOOVER
POTSDAM -- The fifth annual Really Big Show is underway and will continue Saturday, April 26 and 27 at Clarkson University’s Cheel Arena in Potsdam.
The two-day home, garden and business show will follow last year’s formula with food, wine and craft vendors as well as live entertainment each day. Nearly 80 vendors are expected for the show, according to the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.
About 1,200 people attended last year, and the number has grown every year since the show’s inception, according to Jo Ann Roberts, events and promotions manager at the chamber. Many of the vendors from past years are expected to return as well.
The main stage, which was added last year, will return. The live entertainment “draws a new crowd,” Roberts explained.
A Syracuse travel agency, Cruise Planners of Central New York, is planning to make an appearance for the first time this year. “It’s exciting to draw from that area,” said Roberts.
More garden and landscaping vendors are expected this year, “with Arbor Day being Friday,” Roberts said. “More are leaning that way this year,” Roberts continued, but it’s “a busy time of year.”
Other highlights will include a cartoon caricaturist, a new bounce house vendor, hand made custom birdhouses and a young lady selling jewelry through Origami Owl. “She’s I think in her teens,” Roberts said. Origami Owl is “like Tupperware, but with jewelry, and their founder was a young girl in her teens,” Roberts said.
The chamber also expects several vendors who participated in the fall craft, food and wine festival, Roberts said, including several wineries.
“One of the questions I hear a lot is ‘Where can I buy local meat?’” Roberts said. Burley Rogers Farm and Sugar Hill Farm will be on hand with locally raised meat products.
The Colton-Pierrepont Foreign Language Club will sell blue spruce tree seedlings for $2 each. The proceeds will benefit the students’ trip to Paris, Madrid and London in spring 2015.
Live radio broadcasts and merchandise giveaways will also take place. Attendees can sign up for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch e-reader, courtesy of The Computer Guys.
The show is “truly a really cool mix,” Roberts said.
Hours for the event are noon to 8 p.m. on today and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday the 27th. Admission each day is $2.
Tooday’s entertainment will include Don Woodcock and Gretchen Koehler from 4 to 5 p.m., Step It Out Dance Studio from 5:15 to 6 p.m. and Mary Ann Casale & Andy Van Duyne from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m.
Saturday will feature middle eastern dance with Jessica Stewart from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Kaitlyn LaShomb, Troy O’Brien and Michael Jent from noon to 3 p.m.
Vendors will include Tug Hilll Vineyards winery; NY State Senior Action Council, North Country Chapter, Keeps U In Stitches, St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, CJ Custom Creations, Tucker Spring Organics, Burkum Plant Health and Tree Care and the Colton-Pierrepont Central School Foreign Language Club.
Also Lindt Chocolate RSVP: Angela Ballou, Edunation/Martha Whalen, Artworks Creperie, SeaComm Federal Credit Union, Mason’s Valley Greenery, Thousand Islands Winery, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Uncle Jim’s Backwoods Goods, HomeFront, Phil & Jackie’s fudge, Chipman Woodworks, St. Lawrence Valley Roasters, Aerus, Cruise Planners and River Myst Winery.
Also Burley Rogers Farm, Empty Nest Birdhouses, DMT Foam, Down by the River Crafts, The Pampered Chef, Friot’s Bounce House Rentals, AFLAC, NY/Pat Noble, 2 Mama Birds, The Nut Shop International, Five Elements Living, Harris Medical Supplies & Equipment, Scentsy, Unique Creations by Sharon, Alltech Integrations, Inc., St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and Kim’s Cheesecake on a Stick.
Also Nickki’s Cartoon Caricatures, North Country Savings Bank, Sugar Hill Farm, Isaac Jude Pottery, Murray’s Basement Systems, High Peaks Winery, Party Lite, Origami Owl, Red Button Bakery, Salmon River Log Home Supplies and FISHCAP.
Also Commercial Press, Specialtea Tea’s, It Works!, White’s Lumber, Greater Watertown Chamber of Commerce, Catherine LaPointe, St. Lawrence River Decoys, SummerHaven Pool, Hearth & Spa, Community Development Program, Cellular Sales, Verizon, Northern Ice and Dance.
For more information, call the Chamber at 315-386-4000 or visit www.northcountryguide.com.