By Jeanne Sager
CALLICOON Nothing says small town like a summer street fair.
Its a long-standing tradition in Callicoon the last Saturday in July, business owners throw open their doors and vendors line the streets to show their community spirit.
Kids wriggle around the booths dragging their puppies by a small leash, and moms push their infants in colorful strollers.
This isnt what people think of when they hear New York, but this is very charming, said Dr. Margaret Coughlin, an urgent care physician at the new Crystal Run Healthcare center in Rock Hill. Its very much a small town.
Coughlin was blowing bubbles and handing out information at the Crystal Run booth set up in front of Matthews on Main Saturday afternoon.
An upstate native, shes only recently made the move to Sullivan County, and Saturday was her first street fair in Callicoon.
The drive alone made it well worth it, she said the scenery was fantastic.
Some other first-timers were enjoying the street fairs diverse crowds Nick Estabrook has been a Callicoon Street Fair patron many times, but the Damascus, Pa. resident set up his first booth Saturday.
Owner of Always in Bloom, a company which specializes in pressed flower art, Estabrook said the fair was very different from the craft circles hes used to.
Theres a lot of traffic, but its not like a juried craft fair, he said.
The advantage to the Callicoon event is the new customers people who might have never seen pressed flower art before.
Its a chance to educate the public and hopefully make some sales, he said.
The fair, which is sponsored by the Callicoon Business Association, drew large crowds this weekend thanks in part to the addition of a carnival in the municipal parking lot beside Klimchok Realty.
The carnival was open Friday night and ran all day Saturday during the fair.
CBA President Bob Hoffer said the carnival was added to give kids more of an incentive to come to the fair and give them something to do.
This [street fair] is to give back to the community, the local people, he said. Theres a lot of stuff on sale here, inexpensive stuff, and thats why we brought in the carnival for the kids and the families.
Hoffer said the fair is currently the CBAs biggest moneymaker, although they hope the upcoming Pow Wow will become an annual event that tops the fair.
This years event was successful thanks to a good crowd, summery weather and the help of a lot of local people, like Bob and Carol Kay of the Callicoon Flea Market.
Even former town business owners Barry and Michelle Schuchman were back in town from Arizona to help with the fair, Hoffer said.