Hosted by the Greater Leander Chamber of Commerce, the first Living Leander Expo attracted local businesses, nonprofits and residents to Premier Athletic Complex on Dec. 5.

The free event featured booths from more than 70 local nonprofits and companies including Bellini’s Texas Grill, Open My World Therapeutic Riding Center and Texas Family Eye Care. Chamber President Bridget Brandt said the expo offered a unique opportunity for members of the community to get familiar with businesses in their neighborhood.

“Overall the event was really great. Our goal for vendors was to get 50, and we had 76,” she said. “My personal goal was to have 1,000 people attend, and we had 800, which I know was impacted by the weather. But that’s still a good number, so I was ecstatic.”

The evening was filled with entertainment from local groups including demonstrations from TaeKwonDo Training Center, a routine by Dance Evolution Dance Center, a musical performance by Hit Maker Music School and a fashion show with dresses from the Fairy Godmother Foundation.

Brandt said based on a survey sent to vendors, she and the chamber’s board of directors have already begun brainstorming ideas for next year’s Living Leander expo. More than 80 percent of those who responded to the survey said they would return in 2014, she said.

“There are things we will change next year, but overall we plan for it to be similar but grow,” Brandt said. “We want to bring in more schools and more nonprofits, and we are likely to do it earlier in season, probably a November time frame.”

The chamber and its volunteers began working on the event in October, Brand said, following feedback from chamber members about their desire for such an event.

“So many people pitched in to make the expo happen,” she said. “It offers everything we as a chamber want in an event. It promotes local businesses and nonprofits and creates awareness about the Chamber.”


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