Albany, NY

Opinion: Alternate sites for Albany Police Athletic League Holiday Lights

Carol Durant
LightsCarol Durant

Well, it is official that the Albany Police Athletic League Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park has ended. This event has been happening since 1997 and it has been joyous and chaotic from the inception. It's a mega fundraiser during the holidays and brings the locals and out of town visitors to the park for some holiday cheer. Some people probably stayed in the city, ate at local restaurants with the family with some regular and adult beverages.

All of the whining and moaning about the traffic, inconvenience and congestion came to a head during the pandemic. It must have been the pause that alerted everyone about the popularity of this event. The inability to park and gain quick access to your domicile, rubbish, the honking of horns, pedestrian traffic, illumination pollution was too much to bear. Congratulations to all of the neighborhoods on the perimeter of Washington Park, the PAL Capital Lights in Washington Park is done in the City of Albany.

I assume that this lovely event will have to remain in the City of Albany or at the very least in Albany County. Below is a list of places that I thought could be their new home. Some are privately owned, owned by New York State and non profit organizations. Most of the recommendations would not interfere with the local taxpayer and their food deliveries. These locations all have their share of operational and logistical challenges, such as permits, set up, ticket sales, building a pedestrian thoroughfare, insurance, electricity, splitting funds, staffing, transportation, security, food, sanitation etc. Here is the list: Harriman Campus, Lincoln Park, New York State Correctional Training Campus, Christian Brothers Academy, Afrim's Sports, Academy of the Holy Names, Capital Hills, Corning Preserve/Jennings Landing, Riverview Center, Port of Albany. Do you have any suggestions?

I wonder if other long standing events that impact the citizens in the city of Albany such as LarkFest, Art on Lark, Santa Speedo Sprint, Champagne in the Park, Halloween in the Park, Tulip Fest, Freihofer's Run for Women, Alive at Five and Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival will also be ushered into the crosshairs and be postponed, moved or cancelled. Time will tell us all.

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Writer, author, poet, playwright

Albany, NY

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