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2010 was 'makeover' year for trade show

Displaying their elaborate balloon headwear are Alexis Langen, grade 8, and Allie Doll, grade 7. Clown and balloon artist "Mr. Twister" entertained a constant stream of young people-and adults-at the Perham Trade and Home Show on Feb. 21.1 / 2
Eight women, including Carol Monson, above, won "Extreme Makeovers" at the Perham Area Chamber Trade and Home Show. Much of the cut and style work was done before a "live" audience at a bustling corner at the Perham Area Community Center show. Working on Carol here is SaStone Salon and Spa owner Brenda Doll. The makeover setting featured an extensive display area, including bleachers, which attracted a constant crowd stopping to observe the progress of the makeovers.2 / 2

It was a "makeover" year for the Perham Area Trade and Home Show-in more ways than one.

"The 19th year of the show took on a new, unique look," said Dan Schroeder, Perham Chamber's executive director in analyzing the Feb. 20-21 event. "It was refreshing, people enjoyed it, and it was more family oriented."

One of the centerpieces of the 2010 show was the "Extreme Makeover" feature, where four candidates were selected each day for a complete makeover-courtesy of SaStone Salon and Spa.

The event, which created a "new you" for eight women, included a new hair color and style, makeup, massage and facial. It was an effort to add more features for women and families, said Schroeder.

The makeover stage was a popular corner at the show, as spectators stopped to observe the progress on the eight candidates who were getting their hair styled before an audience. At 3 p.m. each day, the makeover recipients were "unveiled" to a large crowd.

With the injection of enthusiasm for the makeover, Schroeder is considering expanding on the idea for next year.

More than 100 vendor spaces were filled-making the show a sold-out event.

While Schroeder felt that there was a distinct increase in the number of women and families at the show, overall attendance was down.

Despite great weather for getting out of the house, there were three major wrestling events on Saturday, involving three area schools: Perham, Frazee and New York Mills. There was a gymnastics meet as well. These events were a likely factor in reducing attendance on Saturday by several hundred.

Overall, attendance was estimated at nearly 2,000; a decent showing, though down a few hundred from last year.

A recap meeting is scheduled this week-when plans for the 2011 show will already be discussed, said Schroeder.

"Thanks to all who participated with a booth, and who came out to the show this weekend," commented Schroeder.