2 lighted parades set for Saturday in Albion, Barre

Photos by Tom Rivers: Shaw Farms in Byron joined the lighted tractor parade on Dec. 12, 2020. The parade included trucks, tractors and smaller all-terrain vehicles.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2022 at 1:34 pm

There are two lighted parades scheduled for the same time on Saturday – 5:30 p.m.

Organizers of the parades in Albion and Barre believed they put out sufficient notice to not have conflicting parades.

Cyndy Van Lieshout, one of the organizers of the Barre parade, said a lighted tractor parade is a celebration of the town’s agriculture and gravel businesses.

The parade starts near the Van Lieshout farm on East Barre Road and then heads north of Route 98 to the Barre Town Park, where cocoa and cookies will be served.

She said the first four tractor parades were scheduled for the second Saturday in December, although last year’s was cancelled due to powerful winds. Barre didn’t have a backup date in 2021 with the state Department of Transportation.

The Barre Betterment Committee this year applied for Sunday as a backup day in case of bad weather. But Van Lieshout said Saturday looks like ideal conditions with no snow and a high of 37.

The lighted tractor parade is the only one Van Lieshout knows of in this area. She heard about a similar one out west. There are usually at least 20 participants for the Barre procession.

No preregistration is needed. The tractors should show up by 5:15 p.m.

“It’s sad for the families that they can’t go to both,” Van Lieshout said about the two parades. “We pull a different crowd. We’re celebrating agriculture and gravel pits. It fits into our lifestyle.”

She is pleased the community looks forward to the tractor parade.

“Whatever it takes to get people involved in our town,” she said. “It’s supposed to be gorgeous weather.”

A participant in Albion’s debut light parade last Dec. 17 drives down Main Street. There were 30 vehicles decorated for the parade about a year ago.

Susan Oschmann is the main organizer of the Albion parade, which starts at 5:30 from the Arnold Gregory parking lot on South Main Street and then heads north to the downtown, turning right on East Bank Street.

Albion had its debut light parade last year on the third Saturday in December. There were 30 participants, including some tractors.

The parade this year is scheduled during Albion Hometown Holiday event, which includes many activities from morning through the evening.

Oschmann said 23 participants were signed up for “Santa’s Hometown Parade” as of Wednesday and more are welcome. She will accept them until midday Dec. 10 to be announced at the judges’ reviewing stand in the downtown. But last-minute participants can still show up for the parade. They are asked to start assembling in the Arnold Gregory lot at 4:30 p.m.

To register for the parade email susanoschmann@gmail.com for an application.

Oschmann said people who go to Barre’s parade are welcome to come to Albion afterwards for live music with the West Side Drive Band beginning at 6 p.m., pictures with Santa, a wine-tasting, hot cocoa, food from the Lions Club, and a petting zoo by the Christmas tree in Waterman Park.

“Whether people choose Barre or Albion for the parade you’ll have a wonderful time,” Oschmann said. “After either one, come down and enjoy the holiday at the square.”

Many of the activities will be in the closed off area on Main Street between Bank Street and Beaver Alley. The Main Street lift bridge was closed last month for an 18-month construction project.

Oschmann would like to see the event planners for the community festivals get together quarterly in the future to compare dates for their events.