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Liberty Expo a Hit

By John Emerson
LIBERTY — April 11, 2000 -- Baked goods to building materials, fireplaces to financial services, vacuum cleaners to veterans organizations were all on display this weekend at the Sullivan County Area Expo 2000 at Liberty High School.
In all, more than 70 businesses and organizations were displaying their products and services as hundreds moved through the displays Saturday and Sunday.
The show even drew a new charter boat captain who plies his trade on Lake Ontario, when he’s not busy at his main job.
“We’re really just getting started,” said Rookie Fishing Adventures owner and skipper Michael Ward. “At some point in the future, I’m going to be looking to retire, and I’m trying to turn what I love to do into a way of making a living.”
When he’s not hawking fishing trips, Ward is the police chief of the Liberty Police Department.
The Expo, which just completed its 5th year, is presented by the Liberty Chamber of Commerce. In addition to being a fundraising event for the chamber, the show promotes local businesses and gives them a chance to display their wares and make contracts for the future.
“It has grown every year and is still growing,” said event coordinator Dianne Brady. “Originally, it was hard to get people to come, but it’s getting easier every year. This year is the biggest it has ever been.”
Saturday’s beautiful weather, however, did have an impact on attendance. Brady said she was hoping for a misty day instead of the warm sun that encouraged people to either work at home or go elsewhere for outside activities.
One of the more popular displays, at least for those who came with small children, was the Bubbles Softub booth. The Wallkill-based company was besieged by children playing in the water as their parents learned the benefits of the product.
A little further down the aisle, postmasters from across the county were handing out coloring books, selling stamps and generally acquainting people with the services the U.S. Postal Service offers.
“This is a community-based event, and we’re a major part of the community,” said Cathy Safford, one of several county postmasters working the booth. “We’re just like any other business when it comes to trying to tell people what we have to offer.”

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