Lowcountry Family Expo draws crowd Saturday to Charleston Area Convention Center

Crowds gather Saturday for the second annual Lowcountry Family Expo at the Charleston Area Convention Center. The expo feathered Disney Channel star Olivia Holt, fashion shows and activity booths.

Toting balloons and bags of goodies, Charleston-area parents and their children flocked Saturday to this year’s Lowcountry Family Expo.

The event, which was presented by The Post and Courier and Lowcountry Parent, aimed to entertain, inform, inspire and engage attendees at the Charleston Area Convention Center by showcasing upwards of 100 vendors and exhibitions for their perusal, according to Chris Zoeller, who helped organize the expo.

Children busied themselves with crayons, tried their hand at sewing, painted flower pots and showed off spring ensembles in a fashion show in a ballroom. Their parents learned about educational programs at Trident Technical College, health and wellness as presented by Life Essentials Health Center, animal adoption through the Charleston Animal Society, and other topics.

A vendor known as All Natural Dips, a family-owned business based in Ladson, offered samples of its preservative-free dips for tasting and for taking home. Hugh Hyman, the company’s owner, said the family-oriented expo was a prime opportunity to discuss with Lowcountry families healthy alternatives for snacking.

“Our dips have no MSGs, no preservatives and we’re gluten free. Local parents are concerned about all of those things, so there was a lot of interest here today,” Hyman said.

Olivia Holt, star of the Disney Channel show “I Didn’t Do It,” made a special appearance as one of the day’s largest draws, chatting with guests and posing for pictures, Zoeller said.

In all, about 2,500 people attended the expo over the course of the day, she said.

One guest, Kia Barnes, of Summerville, said she attended the expo for the first time this year with her two children and nephew after reading about it in an email.

“As you can see, they’re having a blast,” she chuckled, as the children tossed around a small, orange ball they acquired from one vendor.

“Everything I’ve seen here so far has been very informative. It’s great to learn more about local businesses and activities in Charleston, and some even in Summerville where we’re from,” she said.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.