If you go …
WHAT: Metroplex Sugar Show: Candyland Adventure
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today
WHERE: Metroplex Expo Center, 1620 Motor Inn Drive, Liberty
HOW MUCH: $4 at the door
LIBERTY — Everyone was a winner at the version of Candyland being played Saturday at the Metroplex Event Center.
The first Metroplex Sugar Show: Candyland Adventure featured nearly 60 vendors passing out samples and selling their sweet treats in a room decorated with brightly colored displays inspired by the popular board game for young children.
“We wanted to add another show everybody would like,” Briana Simeone, Metroplex building manager, said. “All of the girls were sitting around talking — ‘What would we like?’ We all like sugar. That’s kind of where it came from.”
They spent more than a year working on the decorations, creating a licorice lagoon and a gumdrop mountain and multiple scenes that attendees could use as backdrops for photographs.
“The ideas we found online and Pinterest and from other people who have done giant Candyland game boards,” Simeone said. “We incorporated everything we found and put the game together.”
The results impressed both the attendees and the vendors.
Tiasia Slade of Youngstown looked as amazed a her daughter, Austyn Reed, 5, and her niece, Caia Colmon, 4, at the fabric snake hanging from a tree in the licorice lagoon.
“I love the decorations,” Slade said. “I wasn’t expecting it to have this huge of a turnout. It’s nice to see.”
Chris Moss, a Youngstown native who now lives in Columbus, was working with his sister, Olivia Colmon, at Simply Made by Liv, which was all but sold out of its baked goods.
“That’s the good thing about the Valley,” he said. “They do show up and support. And who doesn’t like sweets?”
“It’s a phenomenal event for the first time,” said Colleen Sekula of Colleen’s Confections in Howland. “The work they put into the decorations for this is out of this world.”
Melissa Kelecava, who owns Blissful Bites by Melissa in Lordstown, said she liked the fact the organizer turned the event into a giant board game. Those who wanted a chance to win some of the sweet treats being given away had to stop at the different vendors in order to be eligible.
“Making it kind of a game gives you a lot more engagement,” Kelecava said. “Even if they don’t plan to buy, something might catch their eye.”
While most of the vendors were local, some came from Akron, Geneva and even West Virginia. The event drew attendees from outside the area as well. Cassandra Bush of Cleveland said she attends the Toyhio toy and pop culture shows at the Metroplex. She picked up a flyer for the Sugar Show at the last Toyhio and said she was glad she made the trip.
“The people here are amazing,” Bush said. “Everyone is super friendly.”
Before the first day was over, Simeone already was talking about expanding the event for next year. And many of the vendors were going to have to restock.
“Some of the tables are about empty,” Simeone said. “I’m sure they’re going to be going home and cooking tonight.”
The event continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Admission is $4 at the door.