This year's Midlothian Marketplace will be overflowing with new vendors and new experiences.

The Midlothian Chamber of Commerce Marketplace, formerly the Business Expo, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 2 at the Midlothian Conference Center, located at 1 Community Center Cir. General admission is $5 with seniors and children 12 and younger getting in free. A VIP shopping experience, $25 a ticket, will be open an hour early from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and include a swag bag full of goodies, hospitality suite with mimosas, quiche, fruit and muffins and a chance for one of several door prizes. Early registration for the VIP shopping is available.

The changes to this year's Marketplace are aimed at making it more of an event for participants to come and linger at, rather than a quick stop on their shopping list, said chamber president Cammy Jackson

This year's event has 110 vendors signed up as well at nine food trucks, about 30 more than last year, she said.

“Our booths are so sold out, we are selling booths upstairs and outside,” she said.

Last year's was the first time vendors were able to sell directly to customers at the event, she said, instead of just networking and handing out information.

“I think word just got kinda got out and that helped our booths fill out so much faster,” she explained.

Several local shops have also been opened since last year's Marketplace, so this is a good way for them to get their names out to potential customers, she said.

Several new items have been added to the Expo this year, Jackson said. Beef O'Bradys will be sponsoring a Mancave with pizza, craft brew, a big screen TV and corn hole games to provide a break from shopping.

Several vendors will also be presenting workshops, Jackson said. Methodist Mansfield Medical Center will have several physicians there to present on health topics, a Savvy Boheme spokesperson will give a skin care workshop, a Jane Dough Bake House employee will give a demonstration and Legacy Dentistry will also present.

“We tried to make our workshops fun and interactive,” Jackson said.

The Taste of Midlothian at the Marketplace will also return with 10 local restaurants and caterers, she said, and the food trucks will be set up outside again. But this year, Rental Stop will be sponsoring tables and chairs for customer's convenience.

Vendors participating in the Taste of Midlothian include Beef O’ Brady’s, Doolee’s Baking Co., Ellis County BBQ, Jane Dough Bakehouse, Lighthouse Coffee, Mo & Hari’s Bistro, Mo’s Cafe & Deli, Redneck BarBQ and Yum Yum’s Catering.

Approved Home Health Care is this year's presenting sponsor of the Marketplace. Access Self Storage is the VIP sponsor. Other sponsorship include Baylor Scott & White, Mansfield Methodist Medical Center, Delico Inc.

Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email bkurtz@waxahachietx.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BethanyKurtzMidloMirror or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.