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Spring expo blooms next weekend
new deh spring expo pic
Visitors stroll through one of the past Great Bend Spring Expo. The 2012 show is set for next Saturday and Sunday and organizers say there are a lot of new exhibitors. - photo by Tribune file photo

Just as the greening of the plants are a sign of spring, so is the annual Great Bend Spring Expo. This marks the 18th year for the event and the theme is “A Cure for the Winter Blues.”
This year’s expo is set for Saturday and Sunday, March 31 and April 1, at the Expo Complex west of Great Bend. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. There will be a $1 admission for adults, but children of all ages are free with adult.
“There is something for everyone,” said Marla Poppelreiter of Stueder Contractors Inc., the Great Bend business that helps organize the expo.
 With every corner of the Expo I and II buildings, and the courtyard in between, filled with exhibitors and vendors, this year’s expo should be bigger and better, Poppelreither said. “We have a lot of new exhibitors,” she said. “This is another sold out show with nearly 200 booths with each business offering their biggest discounts of the year.”
Among the items showcased will be handbags and purses, candles and home-made soaps, specialty coffees and teas, and gourmet foods. There will also be mattresses, kitchen cabinets, remodeling and home improvement ideas, spas and saunas, and satellites, internet and cellular phone services.
In addition, she said, there are a lot more health food and healthy cooking utensil displays. Cooking demonstrations are also returning this year.
In addition, “there will be lots of giveaways and much, much, more,” Poppelreiter said. 
But, “this is definitely a spring show,” Poppelreiter said. There will be the traditional lawn care and garden exhibits. Local nurseries will occupy booths with landscaping displays and other equipment will be on display as well. “It gets people ready for spring.”
With most of the show inside, Poppelreiter said the weather shouldn’t be a factor. In years past, bad weather has helped show attendance, since people can’t get outdoors to do anything. She just doesn’t want snow.
Poppelreiter said, there will be the wide variety of fair-like food available, from funnel cakes to roasting ears to bierocks. This makes one of the major attractions.
Also, the Great Bend Regional Hospital will be offering free health screenings. These include bone density testing, cholesterol and blood typing, as well as other testing.
And, “we will again be giving away $1,000 in Expo Dollars” to be spent with one of the show’s exhibitors, Poppelreiter said. There will be one winner announced at the end of the show.
Bulls Gone Wild will also return this year. It is set for 8 p.m. Saturday at Expo Complex III.
For more information, call Poppelreiter at 620-792-6044, or e-mail at The event is sponsored in part by Eagle Radio, The Great Bend Tribune, Rocking M Radio and Cox Media.