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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Shellie Jennings gives a tarot reading Sunday during the fourth annual Healing Body, Mind & Spirit Expo at Grand Wayne Center.

Monday, August 26, 2019 1:00 am

Record attendance at healing expo

A 'spiritual community'

Psychic medium among 50 sellers at Grand Wayne

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Lydia Camp watched Sunday as a spiritual medium gave her mother a reading – her second that afternoon – in a crowded room at Grand Wayne Center.

“It's probably not her last one, either,” said Camp, who also planned to get her first-ever reading.

She had ample opportunity.

The Healing Body, Mind & Spirit Expo featured about 50 vendors, including those offering tarot and past-life readings. The two-day event also had a lineup of speakers such as a crystal healer, a psychic medium helping attendees identify their animal spirit guides and a medium offering messages from attendees' deceased loved ones.

“You have a great spiritual community here,” event promoter John Stephan said.

This marked the expo's fourth – and best attended – weekend in Fort Wayne. It is also held in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo in Michigan.

“We've already eclipsed the numbers from every other year,” Stephan said mid-afternoon Sunday, adding the previous record surpassed 1,000 visitors.

Attendance might have been boosted by changing the date to late August instead of early in the month, when families might be cramming in vacations and back-to-school shopping before the academic year begins, he said.

Attendees continued to arrive within two hours of closing. Stephan and others working the entrance offered friendly greetings.

“Have you been to our show before?” Stephan asked one couple, who replied they hadn't.

“You'll have so much fun,” he said.

Various aspects likely attract people to the expo, he said, noting the keynote speaker, seminars, readings and vendors selling crystals, oils, art and jewelry could all be draws.

Exhibitor Shellie Jennings agreed.

“There's a level for everybody here,” she said.

Jennings, who lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, annually participates in 20 to 30 shows and returned to the Fort Wayne expo for a second consecutive year.

“People in Fort Wayne are ready to have their lives enriched,” she said.

She provided 15-minute readings. While tarot cards are her main medium, she said, she can also communicate with deceased relatives of those getting readings.

Her clients can request a subject to discuss but don't have to, she said.

“No topic is off limits,” Jennings said. “I talk about it all.”

asloboda@jg.net