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Groups pitch projects to benefit Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2016 at 4:21 pm
Photo by Tom Rivers: The Traveling Towpath Troubadours play from a house boat on the Erie Canal in Albion on July 10. They will be back in Albion again next year on July 9.

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Traveling Towpath Troubadours play from a house boat on the Erie Canal in Albion on July 10. They will be back in Albion again next year on July 9.

ALBION – Some groups are working on projects to benefit the Village of Albion with one proposal a “fire and ice” event in February and mural of Santa Claus in flight over downtown Albion.

Energize Albion is working on the Feb. 18 event at Bullard Park from 3 to 7 p.m. Village residents are welcome to put their Christmas trees to the curb after the holidays. The Village Department of Public Works will gather them, and keeping them at the sewer plant until moving the trees to Bullard for the Feb. 18 event. The trees would be burned in a bonfire.

Energize Albion also will have free hot cocoa and cookies. There are also plans for a food truck and other food, as well as sledding and snowboarding.

Tony Wynn presented the plan to the Village Board on Wednesday. Stan Farone, a village trustee and Energize Albion member, said the effort would be an official village event, under the village insurance. Energize Albion will organize the event.

“It’s a good way to unite us and get us out of our houses during the winter time,” said Jessica Downey, an Energize Albion member.

The board agreed to back the project and contribute $75 to advertising.

The board also gave initial approval for a mural in Waterman Park. The Albion Rotary Club is working on the project.

Tom Rivers, the Rotary president this year, said the local club will seek a grant from the Rotary District and needed an OK from the Village Board as part of the grant application.

Rotary also is working on a sketch of the mural which Rivers said would feature a Santa resembling Albion native Charles Howard in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. They would be up high with downtown Albion below.

Rivers has pictures of Howard in a sleigh from when he was the Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parades. (Howard was the Macy’s Santa from 1948-1965.)

One of those images could be used as a reference for the mural. Rotary also is working on getting aerial photos of downtown Albion at dusk and late evening as references for the mural.

If Rotary moves forward on the project, it would need to seek at least three bids from artists for the project. The design will need approval from the Village Board and Historic Preservation Commission.

The Village Board would also like to see the mural part of a greater plan for the park. The Albion Betterment Committee is working on raising funds for a bronze statue of Santa.

The Rotary Club sees the mural as part of the bigger effort of celebrating Howard, the founder of a Santa Claus School in Albion. The mural would also enliven the downtown, and provide another attraction to get people to visit Main Street.

Village Clark Linda Babcock also announced that the village will receive $2,673 from the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council for a concert series next summer by the canal.

The Traveling Towpath Troubadours also plan to be back in Albion on July 9 for a concert from a boat on the canal.

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