500 attend Ale in Autumn in Medina, which featured street performers for the first time

Photos by Ginny Kropf: (Left) Ann Fisher Bale, event chairman for Medina Area Partnership, checks in a participant of Ale in Autumn. Glasses were sold to people from across Western New York. (Right) Patrick Weissend checks ID for participants of Ale in Autumn before they check in at the Senior Center on Saturday afternoon. Five hundred people bought glasses for the annual event.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 September 2022 at 9:46 am

The family of Michael and Shari Maak of Medina are ready to hit the street after receiving their beer glass Saturday at the Senior Center. In front, from left, are Janet Ingalsbee of Wolcottsville, her daughter Nicole Ingalsbee and Shari Maak. At rear are Michael Maak, Hayden Goerss of Wheatville, Shawn Ingalsbee, Shari’s brother.

MEDINA – Downtown Medina was a beehive of activity on Saturday, with 500 people hitting the streets to participate in the annual Ale in Autumn.

The day also featured the first ever Busker Festival, with nearly 20 entertainers stationed throughout the village. This included musicians, hula hoop entertainers and magicians.

Rob Robinson of Medina, a busker himself, came up with the idea.

“They all had a spirit of gratitude and they just had a great time,” Robinson said. “It was almost unexplainable. Everybody is signed up for next year and we’ll move a couple of people around so they’ve got better spots. All in all, it just seemed to be very much uptown.”

Ale in Autumn brings families, friends in individuals into Medina to enjoy a day of craft ales and beers, camaraderie and downtown specials. Participants also had an opportunity to win prizes by purchasing tickets for a basket raffle at each location.

Michael and Shari Maak of Medina have participated several times and this year invited her brother Shawn Ingalsbee, wife Janet and daughter Nicole of Wolcottsville and Hayden Goerss of Wheatville. This was Goerss’ first time and he was looking forward to the experience. Janet said they were excited to try a new activity and check out all the shops.

Elizabeth Roberts of Lockport and her friend Kristi Stansbury of Gasport also said it was a unique experience and they looked forward to a day out with friends.

Provided photo: Russ Peters was among the buskers, or street performers during the Ale in Autumn. He sang songs by the clock at Rotary Park.

Buskers Stacey May, a hula hoop entertainer, and local magician Patrick Holman entertained near the First Presbyterian Church on Main Street. May said she had been doing tricks with a hula hoop while on roller skates for four or five years, having started to perform after she saw a co-worked doing it. She already had roller skated and putting the two skills together was like peanut butter and jelly, she said.

Holman entertained passersby with several magic tricks, including one he called “Magic Tissue Paper,” and several card tricks.

“One person told me the buskers created an amazing visual on Main Street,” said Chris Busch. “I saw lots of people watching, listening and interacting with the buskers. I think folks thought it was pretty cool generally and added to the festive feel of downtown.”

Olivia Marchese, Julie Berry and Erica Caldwell pose with the cake honoring their first year in business. The event also included music and cupcakes. The Ale in Autumn is intended to bring many people inside the storefronts in the downtown.

A celebration was also in full swing at Author’s Note book store, where Julie and Phil Berry were celebrating their store’s first anniversary, with cupcakes, a birthday cake and music in the store by Oliver and Lucas Smith.

The day also included unveiling of new shelves built by Sid Eick of Basom, which allow for more stock and introduction of new lines of merchandise. This includes more types of jigsaw puzzles, toys, holiday merchandise, stationery, handbags and jewelry. The store also has new lighting throughout.

Medina Area Partnership will also sponsor its annual Wine About Winter in February.