Candyland comes to life | News, Sports, Jobs

Staff Photos / Andy Gray From left, Tiasia Slade, her daughter, Austyn Reed, 5, and her niece, Caia Colmon, 4, all of Youngstown, check out the Licorice Lagoon at the Metroplex Sugar Show at the Metroplex Expo Center at Liberty.

If you are going to …

WHAT: Metroplex Sugar Show: Candyland Adventure

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today

WHERE: Metroplex Expo Center, 1620 Motor Inn Drive, Liberty

HOW MUCH: $4 at the door

LIBERTY — Everyone was a winner in the version of Candyland played Saturday at the Metroplex Event Center.

The first Metroplex Sugar Show: Candyland Adventure featured nearly 60 vendors handing out samples and selling their treats in a room decorated with brightly colored displays inspired by the popular board game for young children.

“We wanted to add another show that everyone would love,” said Metroplex building manager Briana Simeone. “All the girls were sitting around talking – ‘What would we like?’ We all love sugar, that’s kind of where it comes from.

They spent more than a year working on the decorations, creating a licorice lagoon and a mountain of gumballs and multiple scenes that attendees could use as backdrops for photographs.

“Ideas we found online and on Pinterest and other people who created giant Candyland game boards,” Simeone said. “We incorporated everything we found and put together the game.”

The results impressed both attendees and vendors.

Youngstown’s Tiasia Slade looked as amazed as her daughter, Austyn Reed, 5, and niece, Caia Colmon, 4, looked at the fabric snake hanging from a tree in the Licorice Lagoon.

“I love the decorations,” Slade said. “I did not expect such a crowd. It’s nice to see.

Chris Moss, a Youngstown native who now lives in Columbus, used to work with his sister, Olivia Colmon, at Simply Made by Liv, which was nearly sold out of her baked goods.

“That’s the good thing about the Valley,” he says. “They show up and support. And who doesn’t love sweets?

“This is a phenomenal first time event,” said Colleen Sekula of Colleen’s Confections in Howland. “The work they put into the decorations for this is out of this world.”

Melissa Kelecava, owner of Blissful Bites by Melissa in Lordstown, said she loved that the organizer turned the event into a giant board game. Those who wanted a chance to win some of the treats on offer had to stop by the various vendors to be eligible.

“Making it kind of a game gives you a lot more engagement,” Kelecava said. “Even if they don’t plan to buy, something might catch their eye.”

While most vendors were local, some hailed from Akron, Geneva, and even West Virginia. The event also attracted participants from outside the region. Cleveland’s Cassandra Bush said she attended the Toyhio toy and pop culture shows at the Metroplex. She picked up a flyer for the Sugar Show at the last Toyhio and said she was glad she made the trip.

“The people here are amazing,” Bush said. “Everyone is super nice.”

Before the end of the first day, Simeone was already talking about extending the event for next year. And many vendors were going to have to restock.

“Some of the tables are pretty much empty,” Simeone said. “I’m sure they’ll come home and cook tonight.”

The event continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Admission is $4 at the door.

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