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Top O’ Maine Trade Show canceled second year in a row due to COVID-19 safety restrictions

MADAWASKA, Maine — For the second year in a row, the St. John Valley Chamber of Commerce & Tourism board of directors canceled the annual Top O’ Maine Trade Show due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. Based on a vote by the show’s participants, the event was rescheduled for April 23 and 24, 2022.

The show draws thousands of visitors every year, racking up business at local shops, hotels and restaurants, according to the Chamber’s Executive Director Sharon Boucher. Losing out on that opportunity for a second year in a row is certainly a loss.

“[The show is] a boon to the economy,” Boucher said. 

But continued buy-in from vendors is a good sign for the event’s future. After last year’s cancellation, all of the show’s 35 vendors decided to leave their deposits down, hoping to secure their spot for 2021. And after this most recent cancellation, all but one are still holding out for 2022.

F.A. Peabody, a Houlton-based insurance company, is relatively new to the St. John Valley area, but participated in the past two Top O’ Maine Trade Shows. Northern Aroostook District Manager Troy Heald said that the show provides a valuable opportunity for casual face-to-face interaction with current and potential clients.

“The trade show in Madawaska is one of the best attended trade shows around,” Heald said. “It’s just a great event.” 

Keeping vendors like F.A. Peabody invested is essential to keeping the trade show tradition alive for years to come.

“Having been able to keep the vendors, I think it’s going to be as good as past years,” Boucher said.

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