Jedis to converge on trade fair extravaganza

This year’s Star Wars trade fair theme will have kids and parents developing strong ties to the Force.

This year’s Star Wars trade fair theme will have kids and parents developing strong ties to the Force.

The Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce has pulled out all the stops for this year’s trade fair, set for Friday, April 15 (3 to 9 p.m.) and 16 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex.

Executive manager Les Jaster said booths are sold out with the focus completely on Star Wars and the art of being a Jedi. Indeed, on the Co-operators Stage a Star Wars Jedi camp has been planned. “We have Jedi instructors and they’re going to take 20 kids at a time and they’re going to train to be Jedis,” said Jaster.

More than 100 trade fair booths are booked on the large ice surface in addition to the popular market square that brings home crafters to the fair on the small ice surface. Businesses ranging from car dealers and RV display to home and hardware to garden supplies will be there to show their wares.

Along with the business-related activities will be Hamilton’s indoor theatre at the curling rink featuring Star Wars movies all weekend. In addition, ever-popular musical entertainment and other enjoyment for trade fair goers will be there as well as face painter Rosie Posie and balloon art by Mr. McTwist.

This event brings in thousands of visitors, said Jaster and he expects this year’s will be just as busy, if not more. Last year’s trade fair brought in more than 3,000 people.

Jaster recommends visitors check out each booth and get their Direct Travel trade fair passports stamped to take advantage of the giveaways, which will get five lucky winners a life-sized cutout of a Star Wars character. Two other cutouts will be available through toonie raffles.

These cutouts will also be set up at different spots in the arena for fans to take photo selfies of. “I can’t find a reason anyone wouldn’t want to come,” said Jaster.

“Don’t miss out on any booth. Many surprises,” he added.

In addition to the fun theme-filled fair, if attendees dress up as a Star Wars character, they get in free. This idea was quite popular at last year’s hero-themed trade fair and Jaster says planners decided to continue with the program.

For more information on the Jedi camps Jaster said people should call Wedin’s Team and Corporate or Rip’n Ronnie’s for details.

Young Jedis aged five to 12 will be able to master the art of using the Force on April 15 from 7:30 to 9 p.m and the next day at 12 noon and 3 p.m.