State Sen. Dale Fowler is partnering with southern Illinois Chambers of Commerce to host the first-ever Southern Illinois Made Expo July 28 and 29 at the Pavilion of the City of Marion.
The event will bring together 130 different business vendors from across the region to showcase products made and destinations available in southern Illinois. Free tastings, samples and giveaways will be offered by various vendors throughout the expo.
Several different entertainment options will be available for attendees, including the opportunity to take immersive virtual reality tours, a designated "Kids Corner" for children to create arts and crafts project to be given to veterans boarding the next Southern Illinois Honor Flight, and various performances scheduled throughout the weekend.
Attendees also will have the chance to enter a raffle.
Fowler will hold office hours throughout the event just outside the Pavilion.
While the event is free to the public, a suggested $5 entrance donation will be accepted, with all funds going toward the Veterans Honor Flights of Southern Illinois, which works to honor veterans by providing them a free-of-charge trip to Washington, D.C. to see the monuments constructed in honor of their service and sacrifice.
The expo also will be partnering with the Veterans Honor Flights of Southern Illinois to host a ceremony honoring local veterans from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
Proceeds from a silent auction featuring donated goods from participating vendors also will benefit Veterans Honor Flights of Southern Illinois.
The public can get more information on this event by visiting simade.org or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.