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A Saturday for the women: New features for this year’s Women’s Expo

BEMIDJI -- Musical entertainment, a self-defense demonstration and even paraffin hand wax will be new features at this year's Women's Expo, which will be held 8 a.m. Saturday at the Sanford Center.

The fashion show, spa corner and several demonstrations will all return to the annual event, but each with something new.

O'Neal Hampton, who appeared on season nine of NBC's "Biggest Loser" with his daughter, will be the keynote speaker. Together, they battled obesity and lost a combined 274 pounds.

Hampton will speak at 12:15 p.m. in the ballroom.

Added musical entertainment is new to the Expo this year, as well. During the Fourth Annual Show of Strength Fashion Show, at 3:15 p.m. in the ballroom, singing will be added for the first time. Mariah Moen will sing as she shares her powerful story. She will join four other women to be heard during the fashion show.

Also added for entertainment, a local Celtic band "Caleigh" will perform at the Expo at 10:40 and 11:40 a.m.

"We're also excited to have a seminar on basic self-defense," said Tammie Richter, Women's Expo coordinator and business manager for the Pioneer, which sponsors the event.

Beltrami County Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Roberts will be be instructing the seminar designed for women, regardless of age, stature or physical ability. It was will focus on personal awareness, parking lot safety and escape techniques.

Performers from Knockout Fit Club will give a demonstration of the workout craze zumba and boxing at 9:40 a.m. and later in the day, William Fisher and Deb McGregor will present a demonstration of kick boxing at 1:55 p.m.

In the spa corner, Hair Naturally will pamper with paraffin hand wax treatment throughout the day. The Redby Community Church Youth Group will also be painting nails with polish art pens to raise funds for youth according to Richter.

Attendees registering before 8:45 a.m. will be eligible to win a blue and white diamond pendant in white gold from Riddle's Jewelry.

"Come and shop, relax, visit with friends and learn something new," Richter said.

What: 7th Annual Bemidji Pioneer Women's Expo

When: 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Saturday, vendors are done at 3 p.m.

Where: Sanford Center

Cost: $6 in advance or $5 if purchasing 10 or more, $10 at the door

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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