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Plenty of food-watching, eating at Women’s Fair

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, at 12 a.m.

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If you go

Women’s Fair

When: noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Century II Expo Hall

How much: $8.25 adults, $7.25 seniors, $5.25 children ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 and under. Free parking at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 300 S. Sycamore St., with free shuttle service

For more information: www.womensfair.com.

New at the Women’s Fair

To emphasize that the fair is an evening as well as a daytime event, it’s adding a “Saturday Nite Out-’n’-About” from 4 to 7 p.m. in addition to Bonnie Bing’s Girls Night Out from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

Friday’s event includes wine and food, music, and fashion, cooking and hair shows.

Saturday’s event will include shopping, drawings, a photo shoot and swag bags.

“It’s a little more festive,” co-manager Chris Veazey Brown says. “It’s not quite as crowded in the evenings,” and exhibitors are a bit more freed up for fun.

To do at the Women’s Fair

• Shopping: categories including beauty, fashion, jewelry, food, cooking, gifts, health and fitness, home decor, pets and travel

• Fashion and hair shows

• Demonstrations including safety tips for women with police Sgt. Robert Bolin at 1 p.m. Saturday.

This weekend’s Women’s Fair at Century II’s Expo Hall will offer shopping, fashion shows, seminars and games.

It’s enough to make a person hungry.

Fortunately, food is a big part of the fair, from cooking demos with local chefs – including Tanya Tandoc – to samples to cooking- and food-related booths.

Zonya Foco, a combination dietitian/comedian who joined up with Bob Greene in 2008 for “Oprah & Bob’s Best Life Challenge” national tour, is headlining the Women’s Fair with two talks: how to eat so that you have more energy for your career (at 3 p.m. Friday), and heart health (2:30 p.m. Saturday).

“She was here about 10 years ago, and she was just really popular,” said Women’s Fair co-manager Chris Veazey Brown. “She’s very funny.”

These chefs will have demos:

• Hyatt Regency executive sous chef Curtis Isely will show how to cook a lighter, healthier version of chicken fried steak, at 4 p.m. Friday.

• Tandoc, owner of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, will demonstrate how to make chicken tortilla and sweet potato bisque, at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

• Bonnie Aeschliman, owner of the Cooking at Bonnie’s Place school, with help from Brett Harris, will demonstrate a simple and healthy Mediterranean layered dip, at 2 p.m. Saturday.

• Joe Parten, owner of Carrabba’s Italian Grill, will demonstrate Parmesan crusted chicken with roasted red pepper sauce and creamy risotto, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

• From Dallas, Kitchen Kimberley, as spokesman for Southwest Dairy Farmers, will bring a dairy emphasis with shows on the cooking stage at 2 p.m. Friday (mango smoothie and broccoli cheddar soup), 11:30 a.m. Saturday (cheesy pizza pasta casserole and creamy artichoke dip), 3:30 p.m. Saturday (jalapeno popper mac ’n’ cheese and apple pecan crunch salad) and at 1 p.m. Sunday (easy oven omelet and creamy artichoke dip).

Three dozen of the 385 booths at the fair will feature kitchen- and food-related items.

And, lest too much food take you completely in the wrong direction of your health and appearance goals, the show also offers registration in the Biggest Loser challenge, Skinny Girl samples from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, and a “Born to Run” talk on the physiology of running and how our bodies are built to run, by Randy Mijares at 3 p.m. Sunday.

About three-fifths of the exhibitors at the fair will be local, Veazey Brown said. The rest will hail from states from coast to coast, with “a huge amount” from Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

Attendance was down a bit last year at the fair – at 15,500, including exhibitors and staff. One of the reasons was the weather, Veazey Brown said: The last day of the fair was 70 degrees – always tough competition in February.

Reach Annie Calovich at 316-268-6596 or acalovich@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @anniecalovich.

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