By Dan Hust
LIBERTY July 6, 2001 A crowd of hundreds, perhaps thousands, coupled with sunny weather and a record 83 vendors combined to make the annual Liberty Celebration and Car Show one of the most successful ever.
And where better to have an Independence Day parade and street fair than in the Village of Liberty?
No place else is having anything like this, remarked a very happy event coordinator, Jack Simons, during Wednesdays festivities. Its going remarkably well.
I cant believe how many people are here, exclaimed Pat Abbott, who was manning a booth for the Liberty Rotary along closed-off North Main Street. It even started pretty good [with a lot of people] at 10 a.m.
The celebration went on till 4 p.m., but even then, visitors could stroll down to the Liberty Museum and Arts Center and catch the first of several Weekend of Chamber Music concerts.
But for the six hours prior to the concert, attendees had much to choose from, as vendors sold everything from clothing to jewelry to leather goods to food to toys. Various churches and community organizations also set up tables to raise funds and awareness. And off in a finely groomed LaPolt Park, those tired on their feet could rest while listening to area bands and musicians.
The curb-to-curb crowd so thick you couldnt see a patch of pavement at a distance parted only once, and that was for a noontime parade which went on for nearly half an hour. Antique cars from the accompanying car show were preceded by the Liberty Fire Department and Volunteer Ambulance Corps, along with other local emergency and police agencies. Old tractors and horse-driven carriages gave a sense of rustic history to the parade as it marched up Main Street, and children scrambled for candy thrown out along the way.
Weve been coming here every year, said Albert Davis and his relative, Raymond Muthig, both of Neversink, as they waited for the parade to begin. Its pretty nice. . . . You meet a lot of people you know . . . [and] it brings the community together.
After a moments reflection, Davis laughed and said, Where else can you walk in Main Street without getting picked up [by police]?
Joan Norris of Liberty, a parishioner of St. Pauls Lutheran Church in the village, agreed that people are what Libertys annual celebration is all about.
It brings the community out . . . to the downtown area, she remarked while helping to sell handmade items to raise funds for the restoration of the churchs bell tower. Im so thankful the weathers good!
Everything was good, as far as Liberty Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Killian was concerned.
Its gone wonderfully, she said after the parade passed by. Weve had a record number of people and participants.
Theres definitely a new spirit in Liberty!