Learn about local businesses

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By Kirsten Laskey

Similar to a hardy perennial, ChamberFest faithfully takes bloom every summer in the Los Alamos community.


It is a tradition that has sunk its roots into the town but the event also receives a lot of nurture and care from the community to allow it to flourish.

For instance, over the years the event has seen several popular additions including a bubble pit and two car shows.

Furthermore, this year the cuisine that will be for sale will expand from the normal hamburgers and hotdogs to traditional New Mexican fare.

ChamberFest will sprout up Friday with the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Banquet at Central Avenue Grill followed by the Los Alamos Summer Concert series, which will feature Candye Kane, at                                               7 p.m. on Main Street and Central Avenue.

The event will come into full bloom from 11 a.m.-                                                              3 p.m. Saturday along Central Avenue.

Local businesses set up booths and the ChamberFest 2010 Car show will kick off with staging at                                                                 7 a.m. with  the show from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

A second car show, the Atomic City Corvettes’ “Corvettes in the Jemez,” will start staging at 8 a.m. and the show will begin at 10 a.m.   

Additionally, the Summer Concert series will present The Nomads from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Chamber Member Services Coordinator Katy Korkos encourages people to be a part of the festivities.

“First, it’s fun,” she said. “It’s free and they might get to know something about their local assets they might not know about.”

Suzette Fox, community projects coordinator, added, “There’s something for everybody.”

Krista Edwards, community events coordinator, commented that the ChamberFest helps open people’s eyes to what businesses are available in the community.

“Of course, we always encourage shopping locally,” she said. “(It) just opens people up to what’s available locally.”

Fox agreed. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us to focus on the community. I think it’s a great opportunity for talks in White Rock and Los Alamos to learn about businesses (we) are not aware of just have (people) be a part of down town.”

Los Alamos may be a small town, Edwards said, but it does offer a lot.

A several business owners told the Monitor that they are eager to show ChamberFest participants what they have.

Liz Thomson, owner of Cook’in In Style and Tea World, said she will host a sidewalk sale during ChamberFest. In addition to offering a selection of items at a discount, free iced tea will be served.

Thomson said Cook’in In Style has participated in ChamberFest since day one.

“It’s just fun to have the community out and (we like) the different activities for them,” Thomson said, “and we enjoy talking to people.”

Ken Nebel, co-owner of Village Arts, said his business will share a table with Karen Wray’s Gallery.

In addition to offering information about the business, he said they will feature the birdhouses that are up for silent auction to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

While Nebel said he has participated in ChamberFest in the past, this year, he said he is excited about “getting out of the store and being out in the middle of town. And seeing people we wouldn’t otherwise see.”

Cyndi Wells, owner of Pet Pangaea, commented, “We always look forward to having the opportunity to talk to people about their pet food and to introduce people to quality food. We’ll be giving away free samples.”

Wells has also participated in ChamberFest in the past.

“I think it is a great opportunity to find out what’s available right here in our little town,” she said. “I think there are a lot of good businesses and sometimes people aren’t aware of them.”

One of the big hits of ChamberFest is the bubble pit provided by VaLynn Purvis, owner of Party to Go! In fact, she said she gets asked every year to be a part of ChamberFest.

She said a friend who lives in Utah introduced her to the idea and after researching it, Purvis said she discovered it was a big hit and something that had not been offered in New Mexico.

Purvis added not only is ChamberFest a fun activity, it is also an example of the good work the chamber does.

“As far as the Chamber, I think they do a great job,” she said. “I think (ChamberFest) gets bigger and better every year and more enjoyable to be there.”