Souhegan Expo attracts thousands to Milford’s Hampshire Dome

“Do a taste test,” said Allan Bald, offering samples of the Flying Butcher’s steak tips. So I tried piece of savory beef and then went around the corner and tasted the steak tips and Key West lime chicken from the The Wineing Butcher’s booth.

It was all good, and it’s no wonder that food is a big draw for visitors to the annual Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce Expo, starting outside at the entrance to the Hampshire Dome where Parker’s Maple Barn was selling maple doughnuts and coffee under a tent.

The free samples of steak tips were a hit, and so was the candy from Ava Marie Chocolates from Peterborough and the miniature cupcakes at the Walmart display.

And there was a lot more than food. At the Wadleigh Memorial Library booth were detailed plans for a proposed library expansion project. But a 3D printer, a small machine about the size of a microwave oven that makes objects, was the center of attention, along with some of the printer’s products, little plastic toys and a prosthetic hand.

The $2,000 machine is on long-term loan to the Milford public library from the manufacturer.

I missed most of the fashion show that included clothes from two local boutiques but heard the swimsuit part was pretty racy.

Jurassic Joe and his Mad Science demonstrations drew a sizeable crowd of children and their parents to the center stage, and so did the Irish dancers from The Dance Company.

This year the Expo was held on a Saturday for the first time. Some vendors said there was a steadier flow of people than when it was held on a Thursday. Others said the crowds seemed thinner.

May Balsama, who retired as Chamber head last year and had a booth for her Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate office, said she thought the Saturday crowd was different than the weekday crowds.

Chamber Director Tracy Hutchins said the Expo attracted about the same number of people as it had last year, about 3,000, but the steady stream of people was a good thing.

New Hampshire’s largest business exposition, the 2014 Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce Expo filled the Hampshire Dome with about 174 vendors in 200 booths.

Coordinated by the Chamber, the event was sponsored by the Bank of New Hampshire, The Cabinet Press, Charles Schwab, Crotched Mountain Ski Resort and the Triangle Credit Union.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@