The Brownwood Coliseum played host to many sites, sounds and tastes Thursday as part of the 24th annual Brownwood Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

Dozens of businesses gave potential customers a crash course in their businesses, often offering samples and special deals for anyone interested in attending the expo and learning more about area businesses.

“It’s very important, especially for our community. We definitely need to something like this,” attendee Cynthia Scott said. “A lot of time they drive by and don’t know what it is. Some people are too nervous or anxious to approach businesses so events like this are very, very important, especially for Brownwood.

Approximately 65 businesses participated in this year’s exposition. Four of those businesses also participated in the 12th iteration of the Taste of Brown County, which allowed attendees to sample dishes from T Double C Catering, the Hideout Golf Club and Resort, United Markets and the Lyric Theater.

“With some of the caterers, I have a big family – we are always looking for people to cater for when we throw parties, but we never know who to call. Something like this is great,” Scott said.

Although meant to expose area consumers to local businesses, business owners began joining in the fun — taking time away from interacting with potential customers to walking the floor themselves. Spirit of Texas Winery Brian McCue said it allowed him to learn about other businesses throughout Brown County and even network with area businessmen and women to develop new strategies.

“It was a good turnout and I got to walk the aisles and see everyone here,” McCue said. “There is a variety of vendors and visitors. Overall, it has been a pretty good turnout.”

McCue said one part he took particular interest in was the presentation by the Brownwood Municipal Development District, who held a presentation explaining its role in the local business community — taking advantage of every inch of the coliseum by holding their presentation inside the Howard Payne University Lady Hornets’ locker room.

“Brownwood seems to be doing quite a bit to improve not only their community, but the business community,” McCue said. “That’s vital. Without business or retail you can’t do much on the community side. I’ve made a number of changes in the past few years and we’re excited to be a part of this community.”