Saturday, 65 Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce business members pulled out promotional banners, key chains, tote bags and pamphlets and headed to Central Park Square to mingle with the public and spread the word about their enterprises.
The event these businesses participated in is no run-of-the-mill convention. Chamberfest showcases businesses, informs the community about the services and products available to them, and offers a fun time for all.
Saturday, The Nomads played rock n’ roll tunes, classic cars were parked for viewing, jumpy houses entertained young children and UnQuarked – The Wine Room poured samples of wine for adults.
Chamberfest is a long-standing tradition in Los Alamos but this year the event got a new location. Los Alamos MainStreet Executive Director Suzette Fox explained the event was moved from its usual location on Central Avenue due to the construction on Trinity Drive. Since a portion of Trinity is closed to traffic, closing a section of Central Avenue did not seem like a good idea, she said.
Chamberfest relocated to the grassy area in Central Park Square, the parking lot across from Origami restaurant as well as the parking area where the Chamber and China Moon restaurant are located on 15th Street. That wasn’t the only change; a bit of monster truck rally appeared in a jeep that was displayed crushing a small sedan.
Several Chamberfest participants appreciated the changes. Valerie Montoya of Navarro, a sub-contractor with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said her company has participated in Chamberfest for three years and this year’s event stands apart. “I think it’s the best year so far,” she said.
Montoya explained she liked layout and the location offered a chance to see more of the event.
Matt Wolk of Exterior Solutions by Chaparral also liked the new location. Wolk said he has come to Chamberfest every year since 2000.
“I like talking to the community and it gives me the chance to see the cars,” he said.
This year’s Chamberfest also featured some newcomers to the event. Valerie Nevarez of SA Associated Services, LLC and Beauty Villa made their Chamberfest debuts Saturday.
“It’s a good crowd and they have all sort of things,” she said. “It looks like a good event.”
Satgura and Satmitar Khalsa of Shuniyaa Financial Services were also new to Chamberfest. Satgura said they heard good things about it and the Espanola-based business is looking to expand its services.
He described their experience at Chamberfest as “absolutely wonderful.” “People are great; we’re having a lot of fun. That’s what it is all about,” Khalsa said.
Johnnie Martinez of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Community Programs Office agreed. “It’s a very enjoyable experience. We’ve met a lot of old friends and made some new friends.”
That is whole objective of Chamberfest, Fox said. “It forms a bond in the community. It brings the community together. Everyone who comes out (has) a good time.”