More than 35 vendors — each targeting issues specific to women — lined the storefronts of Tanger Outlets, The Walk, on Saturday during the 10th annual Women’s Expo.
Instructors from Tilton Fitness led Zumba classes for more than 100 participants. Country singers took part in preliminary-round auditions of the Texaco Country Showdown. Magicians and clowns performed for younger members of crowd.
Jennifer Smith, marketing director for event host Townsquare Media, said the expo — which attracts participants through a monthlong promotions effort and foot-traffic from the outlet stores — has doubled in size and participation over the past decade.
“The goal is to educate women on the latest health, fitness, financial and shopping trends. It’s something women can come to and get information about things that are important to them,” Smith said.
This year was the first that Suzy Eagan participated in the expo as a vendor. But the director of WIM for Women, a financial services company, said it would not be the last.
“Women live longer, make less and need more retirement than men. The average woman is a widow by the age of 58. We help them to be self sufficient with all these life changes. And this event is a great place to meet people and give out some of that information,” Eagan said.
Ohio resident Sandy Litko spent the day shopping in the outlets with her daughter, Brooke, and two young grandchildren, but she also took time to stop at several of the vendors to see what they had to offer.
“After spending so much of our lives being mothers and taking care of kids, it’s important to get this kind of information so we can learn how to take care of ourselves,” said Litko, 60. “We weren’t expecting to have this here today, but it’s nice that it was.”
Atlantic City resident Toni Bottaro and Cherry Hill resident Charles Thompson walked with each other to each of the event’s vendors. Bottaro asked various questions, and Thompson waited patiently as she got her answers.
“I didn’t know that there were this much stuff for women out there,” said Bottaro, 49. “A lot of the things they had to say were things I would never have thought of before.”
While Bottaro admittedly had a lot of questions, her counterpart only had one.
“Why don’t they have a men’s expo?” asked Thompson, 52.
“They do,” Bottaro answered. “Beer Fest.”
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