Payson's 11th annual Business Showcase brought more than 80 businesses and community organizations under one roof for a day of star-spangled public relations.
The "Star Spangled Business Spectacular" sponsored by Safe Q credit union and the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce had patriotic-themed booths from corner to corner in the 16,000 square foot tent at the Rim Country Mall parking lot.
Even visitors observed the patriotic theme, wearing "support the troops" and "God bless America" T-shirts.
Executive director of the chamber of commerce, Bob Ware, described the turnout as "outstanding."
"It was a great day, great weather, great time." Ware said. "For several hours there were 20 people a minute coming in the door. We don't know exactly how many people came, but I'd estimate 6,000."
A range of exhibitors from businesses and churches to community organizations handed out brochures, free gifts and raffle items.
"I talked to many vendors," Ware said. "They got a lot of interest and a lot of leads -- and, of course, a lot of people signing up for the raffles."
Indeed, the freebies and raffles drew many people to check out the business showcase.
"This is adult trick-or-treating," a visitor commented as he loaded up on free pens and notepads at the RTA Hospice & Palliative Care booth.
The Time Out Shelter had materials on domestic violence, which some grabbed on their way to the candy jar, before they filled out a raffle ticket for a family game set.
Visiting the Northern Gila County Genealogical Society's booth was like a trip back in time. The ladies in long dresses, with bonnets on their heads. were like something from "Little House on the Prairie." The winner of their raffle received a handmade quilt.
By the look of the crowd, the Mazatzal Casino must have had some prime goodies, because there was a line just to get to the booth, a bit different than the Messinger Payson Funeral Home which had a coffin as the centerpiece of its booth.
Outside the tent, Star Valley RV and Four Seasons Motorsports exhibited goods. Perhaps the sunny day and warm temperatures evoked a summertime feeling and thoughts of heading off in a new RV.
Karen Greenspoon, project manager of the Green Valley Redevelopment program, won a custom set of Ping golf clubs worth $2,000.
The Business Showcase appeared to have wide appeal. People of all ages and families came to investigate what was going on under the vast white tent in the mall parking lot.
Representatives from businesses and organizations had the opportunity to schmooze with thousands of people while visitors could load up on a lifetime supply of pens and sticky notes.
"This was one big business party," Ware said. "Hopefully, it leads to more commerce in this area."