Area businesses kicked off the ninth annual Marshall County Home and Business Expo on Friday at the former West Virginia Penitentiary.
The event will host 96 businesses this year in addition to 120 booths, the largest number of participants since the expo's beginning, according to Dave Knuth, executive director of Marshall County Chamber of Commerce.
"This is a great opportunity for businesses to show off what they have to offer and to simply have their name up," Knuth said. "As many as 3,500 people have attended in the past and will be here this weekend. Vendors really get excited about something like this."
Attendees also have the opportunity to donate blood to the Central Blood Bank of Washington, Pa. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Refreshments are provided by Bob's Lunch in Moundsville.
The Expo also hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates mascot, the Pirate Parrot, on Friday evening and will welcome Spike, the Wheeling Nailers mascot, today.
The event will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the penitentiary. Handicap parking is available inside the facility, and those parking along Eighth Street and Jefferson Avenue can be transported via a shuttle service provided by the Grand Vue Park.
Sponsors of the Expo include Comcast, Williams Ohio Valley Midstream, Noble Energy, the Marshall County Commission, the Moundsville Economic Development Council, The Green Tab, WTOV9 and WTRF-TV7.