The Fort Stewart Community and Travel Showcase was held at Club Stewart on September 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The event was open to soldiers, family members, retirees, and civilians. In its fifth year, the showcase is offered twice yearly, with one showcase in the spring and one in the fall.
The showcase is all about showing the community all that there is to offer in Fort Stewart and surrounding areas. Hotels, restaurants, businesses, and organizations had booths set up in Club Stewart. Attendees had access to information on everything from local events sponsored by FMWR, to concerts, cooking classes, and the best place to pick out their Christmas tree, (Brewer Christmas Tree Farm in Midway).
Walking around the showcase almost felt like attending a parade. Bowls of candy sat on almost every table, up for grabs. Smiling vendors handed me brochures, coupons, pens, stickers, pins, can koozies, maps, and many other goodies.
I sampled fancy cheese, fresh crepes, and received a free tea sample from the Charleston Tea Plantation. I even had my picture taken while holding a baby alligator!
The Hinesville Farmer's Market booth had samples of fresh vegetables and homemade dips. I tried a roasted red pepper dip that was delicious! The farmers market is held in Downtown Hinesville every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Representatives for several hotels were present, all offering military discounts. Destinations included St. Simons, Tybee Island, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, and Kissimmee.
For those who need a getaway but don't have time to get far away, Dunham Farms is just 20 minutes east of Ft. Stewart. They offer country lodging, gourmet food, nature trails, kayaking, and a boutique gift shop. Their 2011 Holiday Festival will take place November 26th-December 3rd.
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure booth handed out tiny pink pancakes for breast cancer awareness. They have several events coming up in Hinesville, including a pink pancake supper, a used book sale, and Art Your Bra, a bra decorating contest with proceeds going to breast cancer research. (for details, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
All participants at the showcase were eligible for door prizes. All you had to do was fill out a sign up sheet in the main lobby. Some of the vendors also had drawings of their own at their stations.
As a spouse, I thought that the showcase was a really great opportunity to learn more about my community and find new ways to occupy my time. Moving to a military base can be a difficult transition for families. The event showed me that there is a lot to explore and do around Fort Stewart, so there's no excuse for sitting at home on the weekends!