Expectant parents have a lot to collect before the arrival of their new boy or girl. With this in mind, organizers of the Babypalooza Baby and Maternity Expo created an event where parents are able to pick up diapers, a crib, car seats and more.
The fifth annual event was held Saturday in the Dothan Civic Center. About 21 vendors and services offering support for new parents exhibited what they had to offer to attendees.
Summer Stokes, an expectant mom, attended the event and was impressed by all of the services available. Stokes said she found the car seat demonstration offered by the Dothan Police Department helpful.
“They teach you how to properly use a car seat because most people don’t use them correctly,” she said.
Cecilia Pearson, event producer, said Babypalooza is sponsored in six cities around the state by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. Pearson said the event is aimed at helping expectant mothers find the goods and services they need to get off to a good start as parents.
“A lot of these places aren’t on their radar,” Pearson said. “If you’ve never had a baby before, sometimes you don’t know what to look for.”
Pearson said the event usually draws about 3,000 people, but rain had depressed attendance this year.
Debra Martin, a representative of Wiregrass Hope, a local non-profit, was at the event distributing information about the support services offered by the organization. Wiregrass Hope sponsors a pregnancy center, parenting classes and other familial support activities.
“We’re making contacts and getting the word out in the community,” Martin said. “We actually had someone talk to us about volunteering.”
Brittany Jackson, of Pinckard, visited the event with her two children. Jackson said the event was helpful to expectant mothers because of the convenience of having multiple vendors in the same place.