Fifty-eight Carroll County businesses showcased their products and services at the South Carroll Business Association's 2015 Community Expo on Saturday at the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Hall.
It's a way for everyone to show off their business and let the community know they're there," said Shellie Hudson, SCBA's administrator.
Hudson said the SCBA works to create business opportunities, referrals and partnerships for its members. The proceeds from the expo will benefit the SCBA's student scholarship fund.
Throughout the day, the expo served more than 175 community residents, said Andie Luchini, SCBA's president and secretary.
"It's really good to come out and see what our local businesses have to offer," said Marcia Capria, of Sykesville. "There are lots of things I wish I was in the market for."
Capria's 11-year-old daughter, Rachel, was among the students who demonstrated their martial arts skills for the community at the event. Throughout the day, four county studios performed demos in karate, jiu jitsu, hapkido and tae kwon do at the expo.
Kelly Patten, co-owner of Sykesville Tae Kwon Do, brought a 16-person team to show off some of its acrobatic forms to music.
"We also learn self-defense tactics," said Michelle Messerschmidt, a 12-year-old student at Patten's studio. "We learn ways to defend ourselves with self-control."
Mike Stewart, co-owner of Gracie Jui-Jitsu in Finksburg, said he planned to pull kids from the audience to practice nonviolent ways to neutralize bullies.
"We've picked eight kids and eight adults who accurately represent our school," Stewart said. "We want to show the community that anyone can do it."
Debbie McCarron, operations manager at Tristar Martial Arts in Eldersburg, said the expo is a great way to talk to people about the community's martial arts programs.
"We work on self-defense and lifestyle skills that teach goal setting and focus," McCarron said. "Our program for anyone ages 4 and up. We're a family oriented school."
The Carroll County Public Library offered a lollipop tree game and leprechaun hat craft to entertain participating children.
"We wanted to make sure the little ones were involved," said Ericka Swann, who works for the county library.
Just down the hall, expo participants enjoyed free chair massages by Therapeutic Kneads in Sykesville, tried their hand at a Sykesville Pottery & Art Center's pottery wheel and learned more about the art of shading from Wiley Purkey's Pop and Paint class.
Susan Isensee, office manager at Palamone Chiropractic in Eldersburg, offered free spinal screenings.
"We'll send the analysis to your email," said Isensee. "Our practice can show you what your posture is doing to your body."
Visitors could also find out what kind of valuables might be gathering dust in their attics with doll appraisals by Hollies Dollies, art appraisals by Lyndi McNulty and jewelry appraisals by Sherlene Bradberry.
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Reach staff writer Michel Elben at 410-857-7873 or firstname.lastname@example.org.