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Annual Great Outdoor Expo begins today in Watertown

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What do all-terrain vehicles, archery shop owners and fishing charters have in common?

They all will attract attendees to Watertown Noon Rotary’s annual Great Outdoor Family Expo, which begins from 4 to 8 p.m. today throughout the 15,000-square-foot Fairgrounds Y, 585 Rand Drive, and continues through Sunday afternoon.

“This is the largest fundraiser for Rotary,” said Howard W. Ganter, Rotary club member and event chairman.

Proceeds, which he said typically range from $15,000 to $17,000, go into the club’s general fund, but help cover the cost of scholarships, a spring tree planting, improvements to a section of Thompson Park and international Rotary efforts, among other benefits.

There will be opportunities throughout the show for attendees to win prizes, such as tickets to a Disabled Persons Action Organization summer concert, a $250 gift certificate to Gander Mountain and a membership to the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park.

Mr. Ganter, who also is executive director of the Jefferson Rehabilitation Center, said the show nearly maxes out available space at the Y with about 70 vendors.

Information on Camp Wabasso, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Happy Hollow Campground, the Northeast Big Buck Club and Oswego County tourism, among other vendors, will be available.

New this year is the addition of a second main sponsor, F.X. Caprara Car Companies. Both F.X. Caprara and Waite Toyota, which has been the presenting sponsor for years, will showcase all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers and motorcycles.

“Next year we’ll probably look at trying to get another partner in an outdoor-related field,” Mr. Ganter said.

As for additional vendors, Mr. Ganter said it has been tough trying to get gun dealers, because they’d have to have access at the show for background checks.

For more information, visit www.greatoutdoorexpo.com.

if you want to go
• What: Great Outdoor Family Expo
• When: 4 to 8 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
• Where: Fairgrounds Y, 585 Rand Drive, Watertown
• Why: Benefits programs and services of Watertown Noon Rotary
• Admission: $4, $3 for military; free for children 12 and younger
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