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Women’s Festival Puts Santa Barbara in Touch with its Feminine Side

Fourth annual festival celebrates power and potential of women

On Saturday, it was all about the women at the fourth annual Women’s Festival, held at Earl Warren Showgrounds.

Sisters were doing it for themselves in rows upon rows of tables and booths in the showgrounds’ Exhibit Hall, with products and services meant to improve womens’ lives, health, spirituality, relationships and finances.

“(Women) receive so many mixed messages from our society as to what makes them valuable,” said Bill Poett, an author and life coach who was present at the festival to discuss his work and offer his services. Women in particular, he said, struggle with issued of self esteem and feelings of self worth.

To that end, and to help females explore and reach their potential as leaders, business owners, artists, and just women of the world, there was a series of short discussions, panel talks and roundtables on topics like conflict resolution, building better relationships and leadership. There were also several panel and expert discussions on enhanced global cultural awarenenss and leading a life of impact.

The event was also a major networking opportunity, as members of local nonprofit organizations and business services turned out at the festival to make themselves available to women contemplating a venture or two. The Santa Barbara chapter of the Association of Women in Communications, Women’s Economic Ventures, National Association of Women Business Owners and Girls Inc. were only a few of the exhibitors making themselves seen.

Purveyors of feminine health and beauty had their place at the festival, too.

“Women ask a lot of their bodies,” said Carolyn Wilbur, who was at the festival to present the Juice Plus+ line of products, which includes supplements to help users get their daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. “They’re raising children, and stressing their bodies out to the max.”

Other vendors and exhibitors included purveyors of eastern medicine as well as the Breast Cancer Resource Center.

Noozhawk columnists Alexandra Williams and Kymberly Williams-Evans, who write the popular Fun & Fit exercise column, were co-emcees of the event.

To break up the routine, the Women’s Festival also made room for some entertainment, with a variety of acts from local performers.

The Santa Barbara Women’s Festival falls in line with Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, which is March 8. The festival is organized along five key themes: personal, professional, political, philanthropic and planet, for the purpose of female empowerment.

“Women need to be empowered to achieve and further themselves in their careers,” said Lauren Lochtefeld of Lynda.com, a subscription-based online tutorial service that offers more than 1,000 video tutorials for people seeking to stay competitive or improve their skills in software-based applications like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office.

Sponsors of the 2011 Women’s Festival included Noozhawk, Cabot Creamery, DeDominic & Associates, Dowitcher Designs, KEYT, Lynda.com, Marmalade Café, Mary Schnack & Associates, Montecito Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Birth Center, Santa Barbara Daily Sound, Santa Barbara MTD, SBclick, Teeccino and Women’s Radio.

Noozhawk contributing writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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