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Chamber thrilled with expo turnout
Event held for first time since 2019 due to COVID-19 sees more than 1,500 attendees
More than 1,500 people attended the State Line Home Expo at SLICE Arena in Monroe April 2-3. The event, put on by the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had nearly 40 vendor booths filled by local businesses where attendees could learn about the businesses, apply for jobs or sample products. - photo by Adam Krebs

MONROE — After a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Line Home Expo returned April 2-3 to SLICE Arena in Monroe.

“We were thrilled with the turnout for our first in person event since 2019,” said Melissa Even, executive director of Monroe Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We did exceptionally well. We did our best to keep track of attendance but on Sunday we were excited to have so many folks arrive at one time.”

Even ‘safely estimated’ about 1,500 people attended, despite “Mother Nature’s temper tantrum,” she said, alluding to a snow storm that left up to four inches of wet, slushy snow on the ground.

Inside the heated arena were nearly 40 local vendors. Visitors could pet a therapy dog, sample cheese, cupcakes, wine and chili, check out home and landscape displays or talk to area businesses about a wide number of offerings. The Monroe Avalanche Youth Hockey Association served concessions.

“We know how much events like this mean to our community. The economic impact of shopping and hiring locally can not be repeated often enough,” Even said. “Vendors and attendees were very appreciative of the space that allowed for social distancing and offering better one on one conversation with the vendors.”

In 2020 and 2021, Even said the Chamber got creative with virtual events, “but nothing beats a face to face opportunity to learn about new home, garden, and leisure options here in Monroe,” she said.

Southwest Wisconsin Therapy Dogs Tootles, Daisy and Bentley were a big hit, Even said. “We helped another non-profit raise funds for their new organization.

“Contractors were setting up a great number of consultations. Chalet Cheese Co-op sold out of cheese both days. Sweet Serendipity Cupcakes also sold out both days,” Even said. “Of course wine and beer sampling went over fantastically. We were pleased to see alternative energy resources and new options for lawn care.”

Monroe Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a 501C6 non-profit that is focused on promoting, advocating, connecting and educating its members. For more information, visit