IF YOU GO
What: She: An Expo for Women.
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. July 21, noon-6 p.m. July 22.
Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza.
Admission: $10 online in advance, $12 at the door.
A best-selling author, a reality-television power couple and two "Dancing With the Stars" champions will headline the two-day She: An Expo for Women in the Chattanooga Convention Center on July 21-22.
Appearing at Saturday's event will be writer Nicholas Sparks and Style Network's Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Entertaining guests at Sunday's expo will be "Dancing With the Stars" champs Cheryl Burke and Mark Ballas.
"I'm excited to come to Chattanooga this summer for the women's expo and meet all our fans," Burke said via email.
The She expo is an annual event for women presented by the Times Free Press and sponsored by Memorial Health Care System.
It offers visitors one-stop shopping at more than 150 vendor booths in everything from cosmetics to clothing to cookware. Tasting samples, trying spa treatments, collecting giveaways and registering for door prizes are all part of the fun each afternoon at the Convention Center.
Times Free Press President and General Manager Jason Taylor said this year's celebrity lineup is the result of popular demand.
"Each year, we poll event attendees to see who they would like at future She expos. All of this year's celebrity guests have been recommended to us over and over again," he said. "We wanted to add more entertainment to this year's event in hopes that the event will only continue to grow."
All of the celebrity guests will interact with their fans in some form during their expo visits, according to Lyndsi Sebastian, Times Free Press marketing manager.
"Nicholas Sparks will hold a two-hour book signing Saturday," she said. "He also will be onstage for 'An Afternoon With Nicholas Sparks.'
"Giuliana and Bill Rancic will be onstage Saturday for a talk and an audience question-and-answer session. There also will be a VIP meet-and-greet with them, with limited tickets available," she said.
Tickets for that meet-and-greet, as well as She admission tickets, may be purchased online at timesfreepress.com/she.
Burke and Ballas will set toes tapping Sunday when the "Dancing With the Stars" champs entertain the audience. Sebastian said that in addition to dance demonstrations, these fan favorites will hold a photo session and talk to the audience. Ballas may even sing.
Relish magazine will present the Relish Cooking Show each day of the expo, featuring chef Steve Petusevsky.
"Prepare to laugh, learn and laugh some more as the Relish Cooking Show joins the She expo for the first time," said Brian Morris, Relish show producer.
"Packed with delicious recipes, audience interaction, comedy, music and lots of multimedia surprises, our show is like none you've seen before. The show features nine amazing dishes designed to make real food doable in our busy lifestyles," he said.
The 2012 She expo is featuring a new ticket price: $10 if purchased in advance, $12 at the door. Sebastian said the ticket is good for both days of the expo.
BILL RANCIC: The first to hear Donald Trump say, "You're hired," he launched to fame as the winner of "The Apprentice" its first season. The author of three books, he and wife Giuliana are stars of their own reality show, "Giuliana & Bill."
GIULIANA RANCIC: Her life is an open book on "Giuliana & Bill" as viewers have followed the couple's efforts to become parents and her battle with breast cancer. The Rancics now are expecting a child via gestational carrier this summer. She is also an anchor of E! Network's "E! News" and co-host of "Fashion Police."
MARK BALLAS: A two-time "DWTS" champ, Ballas has placed in the top three in five of the 10 seasons he has competed. He won the championship with partners Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson. He and "DWTS" colleague Derek Hough formed the Ballas Hough Band.
CHERYL BURKE: Burke has placed in the final four on "Dancing With the Stars" eight of the 13 seasons she has competed. She won the mirror-ball trophy with partners Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith. She is the author of "Dancing Lessons."
NICHOLAS SPARKS: He wrote "The Notebook" when he was 28 and launched a career that has produced 17 best sellers and $80 million in worldwide sales. His books have been translated into 45 languages and adapted for seven movies.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...
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