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Trade show draws hundreds

June 13, 2004|By PEPPER BALLARD

SHARPSBURG -Although no construction was being performed Saturday at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center, cranes, backhoes and excavators filled its grounds.

More than 800 people showed up for the annual Cumberland Valley Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) trade show at the agricultural center, where suppliers showed off their most recent construction models, employers fielded questions about contract work and families feasted on food.

Joyce Schill, 40, of Williamsport, said that she came to the show because her husband works for Building Systems Inc. and the couple thought the day would be fun.

She watched as children flopped around in an inflated "moon" room placed on a grassy patch near the center's pavilions. Her family already had been on a hayride and ate "wonderful food," she said.

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"My husband was looking at the equipment. I don't know nothing about no backhoes," she said.

That's where Byron Myers, area manager for J.W. Burress, steps in. He stood under a tent surrounded by large construction equipment, ready to answer any questions people had about his company's newest lines.

Brian Sullivan had plenty of questions. Sullivan, 24, of Warfordsburg, Pa, said he works for R.L. Poffenberger & Sons in Boonsboro, but is trying to start his own business.

He was carrying a stack of papers and pamphlets about rental equipment to see how much it might cost him to start up a business.

Even though Denny Reeder, 49, has his own electrical business, he said he's "always looking for new ideas in tools and machinery."

Reeder, owner of Reeder Electric, said he goes to the trade show each year and thinks that it gets "better every year."

Eating ice cream from Antietam Dairy, Reeder said that more activities for children have been brought to the trade show recently, which Joan Warner, local chapter president of ABC, said has been held for the past 30 years.

"There could be more machinery here," said Sam Lewis, 39, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

But Lewis and Reeder said that the increasing development in the Hagerstown area probably will feed larger trade shows in the future.

"I think Hagerstown is going to be booming soon," said Lewis, who works for Clean Earth of Maryland Inc. "It's a good place to be."

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