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How do we get there?
Driving directions are found HERE. The address for The Park Expo and Conference Center is:
2500 E. Independence Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28205
Can I take photographs?
Yes. If you would like to take a photograph of a craft, artwork or merchandise, please first ask the permission of the exhibitor.
Is there a private area for nursing mothers?
Yes. It’s located in Independence Hall near the central lobby.
Is there a coat and package check?
Yes – both. The coat check is located at the entrance, and the package check is located in the central lobby. Both services are free.
What's special about Benefit Preview Night?
Preview night is a charity fundraiser. Parking is free that night. There’s typically special entertainment, and charity-organized free food samples. The entire show is open.
Are there places to rest?
Yes – over 150 benches are spread throughout the show. There’s also seating available at many of the food areas.
I'm looking for a specific exhibitor. How do I know if they will be there?
If you know the name, you can search the on-line exhibitor list.
Is there a way to reach an exhibitor I saw at the show?
You can request more information by visiting their exhibitor listing.
I’ve already been to the show this year, and want to return to make one purchase, or return a product. Do I have to pay again?
You do not. When you enter the parking lot, let the attendant know why you’re there. They will have you purchase a parking ticket, but will mark your ticket with the time, and if you quickly return, they will provide a refund. Then, instead of entering the main entrance, come to the exhibitor entrance located in the central lobby. There you can pick up a 15 minute delivery pass, make your transaction, and return to the show office.
Is there a cost to return a second day?
Yes. If you would like to return, discounted second-day tickets are available at the show office.
Can I bring a pet?
Only properly identified service animals are permitted in the show.
Are shopping carts, wagons, and strollers permitted?
Small pull-behind or push carts are permitted. Grocery-size carts and wagons are not permitted. Strollers are permitted.
Are shopping carts or strollers available to rent?
They are not. Large shopping bags are available for purchase at the entrance.
Is there food available at the show?
Yes – plenty. The food service at the building will have cafeteria-style food, as well as concession-style food. There’s also strudel, roasted nuts, hot pretzels, and many more show favorites.
Can I bring food and eat it at the show?
Building rules are that only food purchased on-site may be consumed there. Special accommodations are made for individuals with dietary restrictions.
Any tips for parking?
The biggest tip is this: If you’re approaching The Park Expo and Conference Center from uptown Charlotte, and there is a line of vehicles on Independence Blvd., get out of the line and go on to the next exit. This will bring you to the exit between The Park and Bojangles Arena, and will save time.
Parking is available at both The Park and Bojangles Arena. On weekends and holidays, the elementary school on Briar Creek Road also provides parking.
Valet Parking: The Park Expo and Conference Center will be offering valet parking for the Southern Christmas Show. This front-door service will allow show guests to pull up right across from the show entrance, and also make loading those packages afterwards a snap. Valet parking can be purchased at the normal entrances to the main parking lot. Cost is $18 (cash only-normal parking charge is $7). If the main lot is full, there may still be valet parking available, so please let the police officers directing traffic know you want to valet park.
Can I drop people off at the front door?
Yes. If you’re parking in the main lot, there’s no problem driving to the circle at the front of the show to drop people off. A police officer will give you instructions when you arrive. If the main lot is full, let the parking attendant know you would like to drop someone off. They will make arrangements for you.
Is there a day that’s less busy than others?
Actually, opening day is historically the least-attended day. The Monday and Tuesday of the show are next least-busy, but the show does close at 6 pm on Monday and Tuesday.
Are wheelchairs available?
Yes, standard size push wheelchairs are available on a first-come basis at the entrance coat check. Rental is $1. You will also be asked to provide a driver’s license, which we will hold until the wheelchair is returned. Wheelchairs may not be reserved. Oversized and motorized wheelchairs are not available.
Is The Park Expo and Conference Center the same as the Charlotte Merchandise Mart?
Yes – the building changed names several years ago.