Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

NOMO THE CLOWN, better known as Ed Schmidt, shook hands with the crowd as he danced down Main Street during the parade which kicked off this year’s Jeff Jamboree.

Jeff Jamboree
Not as Jammin'

By Jeanne Sager
JEFFERSONVILLE — August 6, 2002 – The jury’s still out on the Jeff Jamboree.
Moved from the Lion’s Field to Main Street this year, the annual Jeffersonville event drew huge crowds to the village Saturday.
But the step away from tradition meant residents and businesspeople alike were still getting used to the changes.
“It was slowing down over the years; there were fewer vendors,” said Pearl Gain as she straightened out her booth full of ceramic teddy bears, clowns and other knick knacks from her Jeffersonville shop, Catskill Country Ceramics. “It’s good that they’re trying something different.
“There’s probably more vendors today than ever before, and I know the women at the [First Presbyterian] church are doing fantastic.”
As for Gain, sales were slow at her booth inside the firemen’s hall, back off the street where the majority of the people were strolling, but she was happy with the chance to meet the people.
“I’ve got exposure, which is what I really need,” she said. “I’ve had people stopping by and picking up fliers.”
Unfortunately a spot just across the hall from Gain wasn’t exactly hopping.
Roberta Kane of Shandelee has done the Jamboree in other years, and she jumped at the chance to show her pottery at this year’s fair.
But, she said, her booth was dead all afternoon.
“I haven’t done a thing,” she said, “and this is usually a pretty good show.”
Other vendors were eager to try out the show on Main Street this year merely because it was a different setting than many field day fairs.
“I found the fact that it was indoors and on Main Street quite appealing,” said Linda Hare, a watercolorist from Livingston Manor.
She and Debbie Fabyanski, a crafter from White Sulphur Springs, were set up side-by-side on Main Street, and both were enjoying the air-conditioned spot.
The Jamboree attracted all types this year – there were vendors from as far away as Connecticut and visitors from Oklahoma checking out the goods.
And the booths themselves ranged from create-your-own sand art to pottery to freebie games for the kids.
After a parade wound its way through town showing off “A Community in Bloom,” the spectators wandered down the main street – which remained open this year to accommodate motor traffic – stopping at tables set up at the firemen’s hall, around the Presbyterian church, in the parking lot of Mayor Ed Justus’ tire shop and in Eddie’s Famous Foods’ extra lot.
“People get to see more of the stores in town, see more of the flavor of Jeff,” said Phyllis Blumenthal, a member of the village’s Sullivan Renaissance group, JEMS.
“I think it gives Jeff a whole new look,” she added.
To complement the day’s activities, the members of JEMS were wandering throughout the village unveiling beautification projects and showing off Jeffersonville’s community spirit.
The morning before the festivities, homeowners stopped by a judging area in downtown to have JEMS look over their hanging baskets created for a flower decorating contest. And around mid-afternoon, townspeople gathered to watch JEMS dedicate its new flagpole and veterans memorial community bulletin board.

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