The second annual Women's Official Weekend (WOW) Expo begins on Saturday at the Capital Mall in Jefferson City. The two-day event, presented by Central Missouri Promotions, will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday.
Held last year at the Truman Hotel, the WOW Expo moved to the JC Penney wing of Capital Mall and the community events room to accommodate a larger number of vendors and stage area.
"We have more live events and our vendors increased this year from 68 to 100 so we needed more space," said Alicia Lehman, co-founder and organizer of the WOW event. "We have vendors coming from Texas, New York, Oklahoma and Nebraska."
Created to educate and entertain women, everything from health and wellness, fitness, beauty and travel will be represented at the event, and each day there will be giveaways, door prizes and goody bags for all attendees.
A fashion and hair show will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday with clothes from Impressions Boutique in Columbia and hair styles from the cosmetologists at La Sienne and students at Merrell University. The stage schedule also includes a mixology class and inspirational speakers, including Mary Shackelford, a health and lifestyles coach, on Saturday, and a cooking demo and exercise class on Sunday.
New this year is a "Bites and Bubblies" Gallery in the Food and Beverage tasting area in the community room. A Canvas Corner with painting and pottery classes from Unique Creations is offered for $15.
Lehman had the idea for a women's expo and sold the idea to her friend Lindsey Forck, and the two set out to create one. Both are Jefferson City natives and have full-time day jobs, so their lives were quite hectic setting up the first one. This year, the event has caught on and continues to grow.
"This year our vendor space filled up really fast," Lehman said. "Vendors from the first event spread the word to other businesses, and our attendees filled out survey cards and all wanted to see more vendors at this year's event."
WOW Expo tickets are $5 at the door. Children 10 and younger are free. A portion of the proceeds from the WOW Expo will benefit Hope for Hayden, a fund to help the Backes family from Bonnots Mill and their son, 3-year-old Hayden, who's diagnosed with cancer. His mother, Jen, will share their story on stage at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday.