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Experience Rexburg Unites Local Businesses and University Students

Two BYU-Idaho Students at Experience Rexburg 2023

REXBURG — Food trucks, business booths, and live music were just a fraction of what attendees enjoyed at Experience Rexburg, on Saturday.

Brett Crandall, a board member of the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce is a part of the organization that hosted the event. He says the main objective was to showcase local businesses to the campus population.

“Really what we want to accomplish is expose our students to all the businesses here in Rexburg so they know what Rexburg has to offer— what amenities, (and) services are available to them,” Crandall says.

This year, Crandall says more businesses enrolled to participate as vendors. Some 80 businesses were present and last year it was around 60. Some 3,000 to 4,000 people were projected to be in attendance at Porter Park which was an increase from the year prior. He says the majority of those present were college students.

“(Experience Rexburg) brings the community members that already live here and the students together. Our community members are the ones that own these businesses, work at these businesses, and they want to serve the students of BYU-Idaho,” Crandall says.

Kristin and Dean Coleman have lived in the Rexburg area for four years, and have been to the event for two years back-to-back.

“Having something kinetic that’s going on in town is always a good thing. Plus people always love an event that’s got corndogs and kettle corn,” Dean Coleman says.

The Colemans have friends they’ve met on campus from overseas. They say an event like this strengthens our students from abroad.

“With our international community that attends school, to come to a rather small town— a lot of times it’s such an extreme difference from where they have grown up and are coming from. Events like this are essential for them to feel included, not just as students, but to have a community where they can feel safe and welcome while they are getting their education,” Kirsten Coleman says.

One such friend, Raymond Steven, was in attendance as a vendor showcasing his non-profit organization called the Ray Foundation. The central focus of his organization is giving the vulnerable population in Sierra Leone access to education, clean water, and healthcare. During the event, he received positive exposure.

“We had a lot of people who showed interest, who donated to be a part of this cause,” Steven said. “We ‘re not just telling these stories for our own benefit, but we’re telling these stories to help people who have not been as fortunate as I am.”

The event is in its 21st year and was free to the public, and Crandall says it was overall it was a good time.

“It was a lot of fun. Honestly, I had a great time and I’m super excited that we were able to give away so much free stuff,” Crandall says.

To find out more about the event, and how to register as a vendor go to the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s website.