The Oswego Hometown Expo was held on Saturday, Feb. 29 at Oswego High School. Small businesses and organizations from all over the area set up booths in the field house to showcase what they offer. The Expo drew in large crowds of people that filled up the fieldhouse.
The purpose of the Expo was to display the various businesses in Oswego, and to allow for easy communication with them.
“People can come out, they can meet businesses in the area,” Angie Hibben, the CEO of the Oswego Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “It’s a great way to get to know your community.”
This was proven as many businesses showed up to display who they are and what they do. Businesses set up tents across the field house, many of which had flyers, games and rewards. One of the tents that was on display was for the Little White School House. An old school in the downtown of Oswego, the Little White School House opened its doors to the public in the ‘70s. Since then, the employees have worked hard to preserve Oswego’s history.
“We do have an archive where we have over 30,000 items about the history of Oswego,” Bob Stekl, an employee at the Little White School House, said. “If somebody in high school is doing research, you know, like for a project in history class, they could come in, and we can help them do that.”
There’s nothing that says “history project’” more than a school, and sure enough, Waubonsee College also showed up to the expo. They offered flyers containing information about the school and they also passed out Waubonsee shirts.
“We have so many different programs so really, no matter what you’re interested in, Waubonsee is a great place to get started in terms of education,” Katie Cadena, an employee at Waubonsee’s community education department, said.
One of the most attention-grabbing tents was for the Oswego Animal Hospital. They brought along some of their dogs and many people came to see them. One of the dogs that they brought was named Mo, a French bulldog.
“This is our second year here at the Expo,” Stephanie Duckett, an employee at the hospital, said. “[We like] touching base with clients and patients of the facility, and everybody that’s in Oswego mostly comes our way, so just having a good time, meeting some people, and getting some pats on Mo’s end.”
During the expo, a dance company called “Dance with Flair” performed for a crowd of people in the main gym. There were various groups with different ages that did routines that they would perform again in May. A great thing about “Dance with Flair” is how inclusive they are.
“We have a big group of about nine to 10 special needs students,” owner Angela Flaherty said. “They have class helpers, either their parents, their siblings, or we have a high school student. So if a high school student is looking for service hours and they would like to be a part of our group, that would be a great opportunity for them.”
The Oswego Hometown Expo was a great success this year. They have plans to continue the event into the future.
“This event will go on as long as we have a place to hold it,” Hibben said.