Are you’re the type who appreciates fantastic bargains on items for construction/ gardening, automotive, or foods? If yes, then the Spanish Lookout Commercial & Industrial Expo is an annual event you’d want to mark down on your calendar.
The Spanish Lookout Commercial and Industrial Expo, as it is called, is organized by the Business Chamber of Spanish Lookout and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry in an effort to bring awareness to the many developments in the automotive, construction and food industries in what can be considered Belize’s Industrial Hub – Spanish Lookout. It also serves to rightfully boost revenues for the many invaluable businesses serving the rest of Belize there.
The first event was held in March of 2010 and was a huge success! There was some 15 thousand visitors and over 100 business registering. Gladly, this event has only been picking up momentum since then. This is a two-days event held on the last Friday and Saturday of March on a bi-annual basis. The event runs from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day. This year, The Spanish Lookout Commercial/ Industrial Expo took place on Friday, 26th and Saturday, 27th of February, 2016.
A well laid out, very scenic, and quite spacious location has be designated for the occasion. Moreover, it was named accurately based of the description of its location – Countryside Park. Did I mention it was quite spacious? An impressive hundred acres! Enough to appear only moderately busy with its thousands of Belizean visitors who flock to grab these whopping deals.
It’s easy getting to Countryside Park, you can’t get lost. There are three routes that lead to the Expo depending on which direction you are visiting from.
- The first, for those visiting from San Ignacio and surrounding areas, is through Bullet Tree Village (a village on the Westernmost outskirts of San Ignacio Town) on a bumpy back road connecting Bullet Tree to Santa Familia Village and the outskirts of Spanish Lookout.
- The second route is via the George Price Highway and then the hand cranked ferry at Central Farm Village. This is a route commonly taken by residents of San Ignacio and nearby villages who’s priority is economy over time. I would not recommend this time consuming rout for this event, or any busy day for that matter.
- The third and most hassle-free way to get to Spanish lookout is via the main road. It links the George Price Highway to The Spanish Lookout Road and across the Iguana Bridge on the Belize River.
Whichever way you decide to approach, you’ll be sure to eventually find the Expo grounds. Regardless if you take the ferry or the main road, you’ll be passing through the Spanish Lookout Community. There, you’ll see to your convenience, several signs strategically placed to point you in the direction of the Expo Grounds.
Upon arrival at the entrance gate, I was understandably expecting to be met by workers collecting an entrance fee. Surprisingly, there were no cover fees! How convenient is that? Talk about encouraging visitors.
Another very convenient service, readily noticeable upon arrival, is the well equipped and numerous park keepers. The flow of traffic was very quick and efficiently managed by the numerous staff. They were at every corner pointing you to the nearest parking space, ensuring security, and directing you to the nearest exit point when leaving. Parking space was quite abundant, and neatly marked and arranged. Given that my visit there was on the Friday (the 1st and less active day), I cannot give account of these services and amenities at full capacity but I bet they hold up quite effectively.
Expo booth layout
Business booths at this expo are categorized and priced according to location and size. A booth in the main building goes for $400.00, while a booth under the tent goes for $300.00 and an individual booth outdoor goes for $700.00 (20×30).
The Expo which, as mentioned, is free of entrance fees, gathers a large portion of its operational funds through the selling of booths as well as through sponsorship from large businesses. A Gold Sponsorship spot costs $3,000.00 and includes all advertising materials for the Expo, radio ads, Newspaper ads, and banners and fliers. A Silver Sponsorship costs $1,500.00 and includes radio coverage.
There is no shortage of entertainment activities at this expo. From a canoe race on the beautiful and sizeable lake (on the second day), to horseback riding, and even a little kiddies train which consists of a series of little trailers made from barrels cut in half and bolted onto a chassis with wheels hooked behind one another and pulled by an ATV. There are also buggy rides, ATV rides, crane lifts, boat rides, trampolines, and bouncy houses for the kids’ entertainment. As this fair gains momentum I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more mechanical rides and other forms of fun activities joining in.
The highlight of this event is, of course, the great promotional bargains that there are to grab. With so many fabulous products on display, it really is a tantalizing experience and trust me, it would be a shame not to collect as many discount coupons as possible. These coupons ranging from 10% – 15% discounts and last varyingly from to 2 weeks to a month for redemption. These discounts come only by way of redeeming your coupons which can only be obtained at the Expo.
Believe me, while you’re at the Expo, time flies as you endlessly browse through the large variety of products and deals on display. All that walking will eventually get you hungry, not to mention the fact that lunch time will surely catch up to you if you arrive in the morning. That’s not a problem, there’s no shortage of food options at this event. From Barbecues to pizzas, tacos, and a variety of other local dishes, you’re going to satisfy your hunger without a doubt. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see any seating under the tents at the food stalls, there are a series of large tents designated and conveniently located in the food section of the Expo grounds and overlooking the beautiful, scenic lake with sufficient seating just for eating.
Separate built in restrooms exist just outside the main building as well as porter potties at various points throughout the grounds. There is no charge for the use of the restrooms.
So if you haven’t as yet had the chance to visit this spectacular Expo fair, be sure to mark it down on your calendar for the next event. Don’t miss out on the fun activities, the great food, the fresh, scenic countryside landscapes, the large variety of locally produced quality products and best of all, the fabulous discount coupons. Don’t be shy to ask for more than just one coupon!
Have you attended any other Expo fairs in Belize? If your experience was different, noticed different activities or have additional information to share about this Expo please feel free to comment and share!
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Enjoy these various shots from this year’s Expo fair below or view our complete Facebook Expo photo album: