An expo a day: Chamber's Destination Wellness to exhibit 40 health practitioners

Need a place to unload the kids’ extra Halloween candy and escape from the political craziness of election season? Look no further than the Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual Destination Wellness Expo at the Parks and Recreation Center that runs from 10 to 2 Saturday, Nov. 4.

The event, sponsored by Laurel Ridge Health Care Center and organized by the Chamber’s Health and Wellness Council, features nearly 40 exhibitors who will offer services ranging from  Reiki healing to massages to olive oil tasting.

“There will be a variety of spa sessions and skin care analysis, too,” said Jennifer Zinzi, the Chamber’s executive director.

“We really want people to experience everything that the health practitioners here in town have to offer,” she added.

The event has evolved over its short life cycle, changing from a speaker-centric forum in infancy to an expo that’s all about real-life demonstrations in 2017.

“The best way to learn about living a healthy lifestyle is to experience it firsthand, and try out a lot of different things,” Zinzi said. “Over the years, we’ve realized a need to deviate from speakers because they detract from residents learning about and engaging with our many vendors.”

As with most evolutions, simplicity has been a key ingredient.

“We figured it’s better to do one thing, and that’s why we’ve made this more of an expo that highlights our vendors and focuses more on experiences,” Zinzi said.

Goodbye, candy

New to the expo this year is Ridgefield Dental Arts’ candy buy-back, which will collect and donate to Soldiers’ Angels, a nonprofit group that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, their families, and a growing veteran population.

“I think it will attract families with young kids who we’ve been trying to reach,” said Zinzi.

“Candy is popular with kids, and getting rid of sugar in the house is popular with parents,” she added.

The growth of Halloween over the years has contributed to an excess of candy in Ridgefield’s cupboards — a problem residents can rid themselves of this weekend.

“Halloween used to be one day. Now it’s a celebration that lasts for weeks and weeks it feels like,” Zinzi said. “There’s only so much candy you can eat.”

Hello, goodie bags

The first 150 attendees will receive a “goodie bag” with offers and community information, and all guests will receive a “passport.” With the passport, attendees may visit all vendors to fill their book with stickers and then redeem the passports for raffle entries. The more stickers, the more raffle entries earned.  

Raffle prizes are donated by local businesses.

Exhibitors include Ann’s Place, Arbonne International, Being Centered: Psychological Services, Blaine J. Langberg, Cucumber & Chamomile Restorative Living, The Tea Shop at Cucumber & Chamomile, Healthcare News, Laurel Ridge Health Care Center, Lyme Connection, Manolakakis Family Groves, Maplewood Senior Living, Medicinal Skin, Monat, Oasis Senior Advisors of Fairfield County, OrthoConnecticut/OrthoCare Express, Peterson Chiropractic and Acupuncture, Pippa Martin Reflexology, Putnam Ridge, Q International, R U OK, Redding Meditation Center, Rides for Ridgefield, Ridgefield Crossings, Ridgefield Dental Arts, Ridgefield Prevention Council, Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, SOPHIA Natural Health Center, Steve DeMasco’s Shaolin Studios, Turning Point Healing Arts & Education Center, and Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.

In addition to vendors inside, the Ridgefield police will host a car seat safety inspection in the parking lot. Police will explain recent changes to car seat laws.

Healthy food options will be available from Tigers’ Den throughout the day.

No tables available

Two groups not invited to the expo are the Republican Town Committee and the Democratic Town Committee.

“No elections or politics,” Zinzi said. “This is purely about health and wellness, and we actually discourage any political discourse.

“This is all about the opportunity to get to know the health practitioners in this community,” she added. “They serve the public and support the community in so many ways.”

The expo is free; for more information, visit or call 203-438-5992.