The premiere glass and counter culture show finishes up in Florida
After three sun-drenched days in Orlando, FL, CHAMPS Trade Show came to a close yesterday. The show got underway over the weekend at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center on Saturday night. The Gaylord is an epically designed location featuring a soaring a glass atrium showcasing the landscape of the Everglades. Guests can look down upon lagoon-like pools of koi fish and other Everglades wildlife as they stroll cobblestone streets. Even better, an on-site water park and luxurious adult pools are available for recreation.
Amidst this Shangri-La, hundreds of buyers arrived at 6 pm on Saturday evening to take advantage of the special sales that nearly 300 vendors offered in a four-hour block of time. Sunday and Monday saw the convention bustle with buyers. The show culminated in a silent auction featuring the fabulous smokeware created by Glass Games artists.
Everywhere attendees turned, hundreds of glass pipes and bubblers were on display – some simple, others incredibly ornate. And, of course, a variety of smokeware, other than glass, was also in abundance — plastic, acrylic and a variety of novelty pipes that smoke shops know attract customers in their stores.
The CBD phenomenon shows no signs of ebbing. With the mainstream media’s predominantly positive coverage of CBD products, new companies in the marketplace are emerging daily, and they discover CHAMPS is a great venue to boost their growth. Major players like Just CBD, Ultra CBD and Bolt CBD and Platinum X CBD made the scene.
To be sure, the smoke shop industry is the core of the CHAMPS community. Shop owners, both local and beyond Florida borders—as far away as North Dakota—were thrilled to stock their shelves with the wide selection of merchandise available. Whether it was cannabis-themed apparel, adult toys, health supplements or herbal cleanses, brick and mortar stores could find the products they need to be on the cutting edge of the industry.
CHAMPS always seems to feature some kind of attraction that wows the crowd, causing attendees to whip out their cell phones and document the event. At the center of the show floor in Orlando, a Lamborghini was parked at the intersection of the Organi Hemp and Legal Lean booths. In its trunk, bags of hemp flower were stuffed. When a Legal Lean representative climbed into the trunk and buried herself amidst the jumble of green, a memorable photo op was created and grabbed by many.
The fourth installment of the Glass Games was also on the agenda. Sixteen glass artists were invited to create pieces using the theme of Florida wildlife as their inspiration. The results demonstrated the sheer artistry glassblowing requires. Gators, lizards, sea horses, eagles and egrets were on display. Each piece was available via silent auction allowing CHAMPS buyers to purchase one of these creations if their bid was the highest. The auction raised nearly $6,000, all of which was donated to Florida wildlife foundations.
The winners of the Glass Games were decided by Glass Games director Matty White and his assistant Victoria Shaw, along with several experts in the glass field. At 4:30 the awards got underway with Matty leading the way surrounded by the close-knit community of glass artists, who raucously cheered for one another. The winners of the Glass Games were decided by Glass Games director Matty White and his assistant Victoria Shaw, along with several experts in the glass field.
Here are the winners:
1st | Kennaroo Glass – Tallahassee, Florida
2nd | Rusty Glass – Deltona, Florida
3rd | Tuggs Glass – Atlanta, Georgia
4th | Johnny Landini Glassblowing – East Bend, North Carolina
5th| Arehart’s Glass – Old Town, Florida
Next stop—Denver! October is a busy month for CHAMPS with shows in the Mile High City on October 14th and 15th, then Chicago on October 29th through 31st. As the industry grows, CHAMPS’ list of destinations increases as well. It’s all part of the plan!