Close to 17 thousand visitors came out to annual Expo Belize Market Place over the weekend. That is according to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Opening Ceremony was held on Saturday where the guest speaker was US Ambassador Carlos R. Moreno who spoke on trading with the United States and briefly addressed the corresponding banking issues facing the banks in Belize. Awards were presented to the winners of the Western Union Back to School Art competition. Justin Chen, junior category winner, and Evander Vasquez, senior category winner, received cash prizes for their artwork submissions, of $500 and $1000 respectively. According to the President of the Chamber, Arturo Vasquez, new to the Expo was participation by the Merida Chamber of Commerce, the auto pavilion, optical services, Ready call center and micro businesses promoting handicraft, agro-products and environmental literature. One of the attractions was the drawing of the BCCI/Western Union Gate Prize Raffle, where 21 prizes were raffled to lucky visitors to the Expo. Winners will be announced in this week’s newspaper and published on the BCCI’s website and Facebook page.