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County Chamber’s Really Big Show opens today at Cheel

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POTSDAM - This year’s Really Big Show – the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce’s premier spring event opening today at Clarkson University’s Cheel Arena in Potsdam – promises to engage its audience like never before.

“We’re really excited to offer so many experiences, for all ages, this year,” chamber Executive Director Pat McKeown said. “You can try your hand at guitar building, sing along with performers, and even get in on the act of a magician/comic. We’ve put together a program of local talent and artistry that will be wonderfully fun for families.”

The two-day home, garden and business show – with a little food, wine and crafts thrown in, too – unfolds today from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cheel. Nearly 80 vendors will be together at the arena; admission is $1.

High Peaks Winery of Hopkinton is a recent addition to the winery line-up. Owner Matt Whalen said his operation has been open about a year, and is unique in the county since it is a commercial winery that can directly sell product wholesale to area liquor and wine stores.

High Peaks processes New York grapes as well as imports from California. Whalen hopes to have a tasting room open at the Route 72 business later in the summer. Tastings will be available today and tomorrow at the winery’s booth at Cheel. River Myst Winery, Thousand Islands Winery and Tug Hill Winery (an event sponsor) will also be at this year’s show.

Another announcement this week: St. Lawrence/Lewis County BOCES Life Skills Class from Potsdam High School will be donating a handmade Adirondack chair that will be a special Really Big Show door prize. During the show guests can watch while the chair is “finished” with decorative painting by renowned Adirondack artist Sandra A. Young, who also has a vendor booth at Cheel featuring Share A Bear Inc. designs and other artwork.

For those who want to be the subject of art, they can sit for an on-site portrait by Cartoon Caricatures by Nickki of Ogdensburg. A portrait takes about 10 to 15 minutes and, kids, this can make for a wonderful Mother’s Day gift.

Kids and adults alike can forgo the Rock Star video games and instead try their hand at building a guitar. Tracy Cox of Inlay Design Studio, Parishville, will be at the Really Big Show and demonstrate cutting of pearl-inlay for custom-built acoustic and electric guitars; individuals can try their own hand at the technique, too. Cox is hoping to also play a little, too, on the stage sponsored by Northern Music of Potsdam.

This year’s Really Big Show is the first to feature live entertainment. Performing tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. will be local musical group Kaitlyn LaShomb and Friends. On Saturday, folk singer and guitarist Barb Heller will perform from 10 a.m. to noon, and from 2 to 3 p.m. will be a comedy and magic show by Rich Tenace.

Nearly 80 vendors will be at Cheel during the two days, offering up the best in local home and garden products, businesses, crafts, food and wine. There will be live local radio broadcasts, and literally thousands of dollars in merchandise to be given away as door prizes. IYQ Balloon Décor will give demos on balloon decorating for private and corporate events., and Cubby T. Clown will be on hand for the kids.

Corporate sponsors and vendors include:

St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Cornerstone Services, New York Power Authority, UnitedHealthcare, Bronson’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning and Bronson’s RotoRooter, Cape Air, radio stations 1340 WMSA, Mix 96.1 and 101.5 The Fox, Aeon Heating & Air Conditioning, Tug Hill Vineyards, Lowville.

Exhibitors

FISHCAP; Coakley Carpet One Ace Hardware, Whites Lumber, Summer Haven Pool, Hearth and Spa, Bicknell Appliance and Home Interiors, Guy & Eva, Inlay Design Studio , Jamberry Nails, Damon Drums, Cubby T. Clown, IYQ Balloon Décor, SeaComm Federal Credit Union, Mason’s Valley Greenery, Thousand Islands Winery, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Uncle Jim’s Backwoods Goods, Old Market Farm, Phil & Jackie’s, CBNA Insurance Agency, Inc. , St. Lawrence Valley Roasters , Grasse River B Ranch, Meadow View Honey Farm, River Myst Winery, Country Tyme Treasures, DMT Foam, Down by the River Crafts, Pampered Chef, Sherwin Williams, Thirty-One Gifts, The Nut Shop International, St. Lawrence NYSARC Gallery of Art and Learning, High Peaks Log Homes, Scentsy, The Grumpy Bear, Alltech Integrations, Inc., St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, Kim’s Cheesecake on a Stick, Cartoon Caricatures by Nickki, the Small Business Development Center; the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, Northern New York Newspapers, North Country Savings Bank, Casey’s Health Connection, Black Lake Minerals, Share A Bear Inc., Red Button Bakery, Custom Woodworking, Commercial Press, Team National, AFE Nuisance Wildlife Control, Princess House, St. Lawrence River Decoys, Cierra Ashley/Gammie’s Niche, Cellular Sales, Deer Meadow Woodworking, and High Peaks Winery.

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