For the first time, four Ellis County chambers of commerce are coming together to create the Ellis County Market this spring, featuring up to 150 local vendors and the first Taste of Ellis County competition.

Presidents and CEOs of the Waxahachie, Midlothian, Red Oak and Ennis chambers gathered at the Ellis County Expo Center in Waxahachie on Friday to talk about the upcoming March event.

The idea to collaborate was brought forward by Waxahachie Chamber President and CEO Sandy King who decided it was a good idea for the chambers to combine their events, “split the work and double the marketing efforts.”

“It just so happened that we were all around the table at one time, and we had expos and different things coming up in all of our individual chambers and we said, ‘Wait a minute, why are we all doing separate work when we can all do this together?," King said. “So, when you have the platform of four chambers and a county-wide effort, just the marketing alone in advance of the show is going to be amazing for the vendors to choose to come.”

Vendors at the mega market will be split into zones with goods and services for the whole family: food, home and garden, boutiques, antique shops, automotive, pets and various service agents, among others.

A Kid Zone will feature activities and bounce houses.

The Taste of Ellis County competition will award $500 to the contestant whose dish is voted by attendees as the best tasting. The second and third place finishers will receive $300 and $200.

Red Oak Chamber President and CEO Clint Woodward is expecting a huge turn out.

“In this collaboration, we’re putting our customers in front of a thousand people at one time or maybe more,” Woodward concluded. “We’re projecting quite a few coming out and that’s really where it’s going to be a benefit… That’s the success that we’re looking forward to.”

To participate as a vendor or volunteer, contact any of the four chambers on Facebook or visit their websites. Sponsorships are also welcome.

“If you’re interested in attracting new customers or doing business with other businesses…, it’s a great opportunity for all the businesses,” Midlothian Chamber President and CEO Laura Terhune explained.

The event will take place at the Ellis County Expo Center at 2300 U.S. 287 on March 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Participation in the Taste of Ellis County will cost an additional $5.

“This is something we’ve been looking forward to and working on, can’t wait,” said Ennis Chamber President and CEO Jeannette J. Patak.