Alma Toy Show marks first year in new community hall

If the turnout at this year’s Alma Toy Show is any indication, it should be the beginning of a long, successful history.

As the morning progressed on March 13, the parking lot outside Alma’s new community hall quickly filled.

John and Helen Broadfoot were pleased with the turnout at the new location. John noted this is the 19th annual show – and the third since the Alma Optimist Club adopted the event from an Elora club.

“And it’s the first one held in its new home in Alma,” he said. Previously, the show was held in the Elora community centre. “It was a challenge this year after 17 years of working in the Elora community centre, to come to a new hall which has the same floor area, but different dimensions.

“We have more vendors than in the past. This year we are completely full.”

He added, “The public response to this so far has been real good. Some people said they would never find us up here, but by the number of people it’s just excellent. It’s just a fabulous hall.”

He added the Optimist motto is Friend of Youth, and the new venue allows for a separate section to promote youth at the event.

As a collector himself, Broadfoot noted many people come to the show looking for that one special item for their collection.

Helen Broadfoot said many vendors like the show because it is classed as a “social show,” where instead of being all business, they can visit with one another. “It’s a more relaxed atmosphere – it’s been that way from the start,” she said.

John Broadfoot added there is a difference other than the location. When the event was held in Elora, organizers left when the last vendor left.

“Because we’re members of the Alma Optimists, we have to clean up ourselves at the end of the day,” he laughed.

Long-time participants

Marilyn and David Perry have been long-time participants in the toy show. David said they have been to most of the shows, starting in Elora.

As for the new location, “I think it should be okay. It’s been well received by the vendors and service club.”

He has been a collector for the past 30 years, partly because he is a farm equipment mechanic. His collection, which stems from attending various toy shows and through the farm dealership, fills up far more space than what he brought to this year’s show. The items in Alma were primarily his horse collection.

“I could fill this table again   with other farm equipment,” he said.

Two Cylinder Club promo

Also on hand was Kyle Bosomworth, a first year director of the Upper Canada Two Cylinder Club.

He was at the show not only promoting this year’s show in Drayton on July 22 to 24, but selling raffle tickets on various items including a quilt, pedal tractor, and toy tractor, which also promote the club and the event.

Bosomworth is hoping for a good turnout this July. The guest tractor is an Allis Chalmers.

“Hopefully there will be a few new events and possibly a corn roast again this year,” he said.