Tracy’s Prairie Women’s Expo is back indoors this year with more than 50 vendors

By Per Peterson

Tracy’s Prairie Women’s Expo is back indoors this year with more than 50 vendors

The Veterans Memorial Center will come alive once again Saturday, when the doors open for the 16th Annual Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce Prairie Women’s Expo.

Last year’s event was not only moved to early June, it was held outside at Central Park for the first time because of the pandemic. And while organizers won’t have to worry about the forecast quite as much this year, the outdoor version turned out to be a successful one.

“It went really well; vendors were pleased,” said organizer Casey Schmidt. “We were asked if we were going to do it outside again, but you just don’t know with the weather. We lucked out, it was hot that day, but we lucked out. And we would like to do it earlier (than June). But it was a good show.”

The event has grown over the years and now includes more than 50 vendors, compared to just under 40 last year, as some vendors chose not to participate because it was outside.

“We’re full,” Schmidt said. “We have some different vendors this year — some fun clothing vendors, and some that have been with us since the very first show.”

Schmidt said the success of the expo is a result of many people working together to make it as vendor-friendly as possible. Vendors, she added, always have very positive comments about the annual expo, which keeps them coming back year after year.

“Our vendors come first,” she said. “I’ve been in vendor shows and you get no help, you have to bring your table and chairs — it’s just, ‘Here’s your booth.’ We give all the vendors room, and we also don’t charge a fortune; it’s 50 bucks, and most shows are 100. If you have a booth for 100 bucks, you have to sell a lot of product.”

Schmidt said there will be a couple of food trucks at this year’s show, serving up Mexican food and fare such as cheese curds and kettle corn. Tracy Food Pride will also be on hand once again serving up food for visitors.

Also, members of the Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Junior Olympic volleyball program will also have food available as a fundraiser for the program.

There will be a “Women’s Wagon” raffle to help defray costs of renting the VMC, and the first 200 visitors to the expo will receive the traditional expo “goodie bag,” which will be handed out by Miss Tracy royalty. The expo will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.