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Hometown Christmas show in Albion continues – online

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 November 2020 at 12:30 pm

Event that honors memory of Nicholas Kovaleski has raised $25K for scholarships in 10 years

Photos by Tom Rivers: Dancers rehearse the opening number of the 10thannual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas. Performers will be videotaped today with the show available to watch online beginning Dec. 4. A $10 purchase gives 24 hours of access of watching the show. There are also baskets up for raffle. Tickets can also be purchased online for the baskets or in person at Gotta Dance by Miss Amy.

ALBION – Covid won’t be stopping the 10th annual Hometown Christmas show in Albion. While there won’t be an in-person audience the show will be available to watch online.

Nicholas Kovaleski

Amy Sidari, owner of Gotta Dance by Miss Amy, has directed the Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas shows the past decade. They honor the memory of one of her dancers.

Nicholas Kovaleski also excelled in football, swimming and tennis for Albion, and was a Boy Scout. He valiantly battled leukemia and passed away at age 15 on June 29, 2011.

The Hometown Christmas show includes some of Miss Amy’s dancers and other performers from the community, including singing by Gary Simboli, Marcy Downey and Riley Seielstad. Jim Babcock, a local contractor, will appear as Santa and two of his employees, Craig Lane and David Karcz, will be dressed in reindeer costumes.

Sidari also will give a message about love, community and unity during this difficult year.

“With love we can overcome the negativity, the restrictions and feelings of lost hope,” Sidari said. “With Covid, our whole community has gone through its own grief. We’re a group that wants to bring joy to people.”

Kelly Kovaleski will share with the audience about her late son, who was upbeat while pushing himself to excel. The Hometown Christmas shows have raised $25,000 in scholarships which are given to Albion seniors selected by Kelly and Jay Kovaleski who “Live with Purpose.”

Kelly Kovaleski and Amy Sidari have worked together on the Hometown Christmas shows in memory of Kovaleski’s son, who passed away from leukemia at age 15 on June 29, 2011. They are wearing facemasks with the “Live with Purpose” message that a guiding principle in Nicholas’s life.

That was the guiding principle for their son. Albion seniors submit applications for the scholarship, and the Kovaleskis want to honor students who step up for their families and friends.

The scholarships have ranged from $500 to $800. Last year the Kovaleskis were able to award three scholarships – Laiken Ricker, Masey Ferchen and Colby Ferchen were the winners.

The scholarships and fundraising are through the Jim and Diane Salmon Children’s Fund, which is a 501c3 organization, allowing tax exempt donations.

Salmon, a home repair radio host for WHAM in Rochester, had Nicholas as a guest on the show.

“He was sick, but he was wonderful,” Salmon said. “He did a great interview.”

Salmon said the Hometown Christmas continues to honor Nicholas’s memory, and this year provides an important outlet for the performers and the audience.

“This show is a testament of the tenacity of Miss Amy, and Jay and Kelly Kovaleski,” Salmon said. “They have found a way to do the show and do it within the rules.”

Michayla Kovaleski rehearses a dance on Sunday for this year’s Hometown Christmas show. She is Nicholas’s sister and works as a dance instructor at Miss Amy’s. She recently graduated from Nazareth College.

People can purchase an online ticket for $10 and then have 24 hours of access to watch the show, which will be about an hour. The show will be available on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5.

Sidari also will host watch parties at the studio for small groups to view the performance on the big screen. (Sidari’s Cabaret at Studio B has already done online shows with Gary Simboli.)

The event also includes the chance to win at least one of 40 baskets donated by the community. Tickets can be purchased and placed in-person at Miss Amy’s or purchased online with notes sent to Miss Amy on which baskets the tickets should go.

For more information on the Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas, click here.

Hometown Christmas returns with 3 shows on Saturday in Albion

Photo by Tom Rivers: Lauren Thomas practices for her role as the Sugar Plum Princess in the Nutcracker during a show last Saturday at Gotta Dance by Miss Amy. Lauren will perform a dance this Saturday during the 8th annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2017 at 8:40 pm

ALBION – The 8th annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas returns Saturday for three shows by members of the Albion community. There will be singing, dancing and even comedy.

The show honors the memory of Nicholas Kovaleski, who the inspired the Albion community with his valiant fight against leukemia. He died at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis.

There have been seven Hometown Christmas events and they have raised $18,000 towards scholarships given annually to graduating high school seniors who “Live with Purpose.”

Nick’s sister Michayla is among the dancers in Saturday’s shows. Nick’s younger brother Matt normally plays the drums for the Albion band and in the pit orchestra for school musicals. On Saturday he will make his debut as a soloist in singing.

Other community members will perform, including High School Chorus Director Gary Simboli. Two of his students, Riley Seielstad and Kate Krieger, will sing solos.

The Boy Scouts will perform three humorous skits. Jim Salmon, Doug Bower and Jim Babcock also will perform a skit, “Grandma Got Run Over by Reindeer.”

Altogether, there will be about 60 people on stage during the program.

“We just want people to come and have a good time,” said Amy Sidari, event organizer and owner of Gotta Dance by Miss Amy. “I’m humbled by the community with their support and love.”

The shows are at noon, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Holy Family Parish Lyceum, 106 S. Main St. Coffee and desserts are served and there is a basket auction. There will likely be about 50 baskets up for bid, including jerseys from Buffalo Bills greats Jim Kelly and Andre Reed, who are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There also is a 43-inch television in the auction.

For information about tickets, call Gotta Dance at (585) 354-2320.

Saturday is also the Hometown Holidays event in downtown Albion with events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more information.

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Community members are stars of Hometown Christmas shows

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 December 2016 at 4:08 pm

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Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Rose Allen sings, “Mary Did You Know,” during today’s noon show of the seventh annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas at the Holy Family Lyceum.

There are three shows today of Hometown Christmas, which features 19 acts, with singing, dancing and some comedy.

Hometown Christmas raises money for a memorial scholarship for Nicholas Kovaleski, who fought leukemia before passing away at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He was also an active Boy Scout.

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Jay and Kelly Kovaleski, parents of Nicholas, talk about the new workshops they have created called, Live With Purpose. (Mr. Kovaleski is holding a T-shirt with the program’s logo.)

The interactive workshop is geared towards helping teens and others find purpose and direction for their lives. The Kovaleskis will be run a free workshop on Jan. 13 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Gotta Dance Studio at 28 West Bank St., Albion. Click here for more information.

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Marcy Downey and Gary Simboli sing “Happy Days” during Hometown Christmas.

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Rylie Lear, center, and other dancers perform a routine to “Frosty the Snowman.”

 

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Angela Tarricone, an Albion High School senior, performs one of her two songs, including “Grownup Christmas List.”

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Amy Sidari, Hometown Christmas coordinator, gives an inspirational welcoming message to start the show.

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Community stars in Hometown Christmas

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – About 500 people are expected for three shows today of the sixth annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas. The top photo shows Rachel Curtin, principal of the Ronald L. Sodoma Elementary School, singing “Heaven Everywhere.”

She is among about 50 different performers today in the Hometown Christmas shows at the Holy Family Parish Lyceum.

Marcy Downey sings “Baby, It’s Cold Outisde” next to a cutout of Dean Martin.

There are 17 acts in the show, which is nearly two hours long.

Michayla Kovaleski and her mother Kelly sing a duet, “Hallelujah (Light Has Come)” during the noon show.

Hometown Christmas raises money for a memorial scholarship for Nicholas Kovaleski, who fought leukemia before passing away at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis.

About $10,500 in scholarships in memory of Nicholas have been awarded to graduating Albion seniors. They write essays about community service and living with a purpose.

Mikayla Yaskulski, front, and Kate Krieger are part of a group that danced to the song, “Hello” by Adele. Many of the performers are dancers in the Gotta Dance by Miss Amy studio.

Rose Allen sings “Amazing Grace” to the crowd at the Lyceum.


Lauren Thomas dances to “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Michayla Kovaleski and Laiken Ricker also are in that group dance.

Dancers, singers working hard on Hometown Christmas show

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Dancers at the Gotta Dance by Miss Amy studio have been practicing for the upcoming Hometown Christmas show on Dec. 5. This group pictured is led by Gloria Lear.

There will be about 15 acts in the show, which will be the sixth annual benefit for the Nicholas Kovaleski scholarship. Nicholas fought leukemia before dying at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis.

His father Jay Kovaleski said he appreciates the hard work from the participants in Hometown Christmas, which includes three shows: noon, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The shows will be at the Holy Family Lyceum at 106 South Main St.

“They’re all doing it for a great cause,” said Mr. Kovaleski, a teacher at Albion. “No one thinks twice.”

Amy Sidari, owner of the Gotta Dance studio, works with a group practicing a jazz dance for Hometown Christmas.

The Hometown Christmas shows draw about 500 people. Proceeds from the event go to the scholarship. About $10,500 has been awarded to graduating Albion seniors. They write essays about community service and living with a purpose.

Jay and his wife Kelly and Nicholas’s siblings look over the applications for the scholarships. They are looking for students who are committed to their families and community.

“It touches us to read them,” Mr. Kovaleski said.

Nicholas’s mother Kelly and sister Michayla will both perform in the Dec. 5 show. Nicholas’s brother Matthew will be part of back stage team. The oldest Kovaleski son, Thomas, 21, is in the Army at Fort Riley in Kansas.

Mr. Kovaleski appreciates the upbeat messages in the Christmas program, and some of the fun scenes, including skits by the Boy Scouts.

Michayla Kovaleski performs as the Sugar Plum in a dance from The Nutcracker during last year’s Hometown Christmas.

“Nicholas would want people to come and enjoy themselves,” Kovaleski said.

He appreciates the community’s generosity to the scholarship fund and the all of the effort in putting on Hometown Christmas.

“Christmas comes from the heart, and everyone has their heart in this,” he said.

Sidari said she welcomes donations of baskets and cookies for the benefit. For more information about the show, click here to see the Miss Amy website.

About 500 attend Hometown Christmas show in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 December 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The fellowship hall at Holy Family Parish Lyceum was transformed into a stage and performance venue on Saturday for the 5th annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas.

About 50 performers were part of the cast for three shows. About 500 people attended the event, which is a fund-raiser for a memorial scholarship in honor of Nicholas Kovaleski. His sister Michayla (top photo) performs as the Sugar Plum in a dance from The Nutcracker.

Nicholas’s mother Kelly Kovaleski shared reflections about her son, who died from leukemia at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He would have graduated last June. She said her son wanted to join the military.

She said her Nicholas “lived with purpose.” The scholarship in his memory honors graduating seniors who “Live with Purpose.”

Marcy Downey sings “More Than Wonderful.” She also sang a duet – “How Great Thou Art” – with Joise Waverly.

Several dancers, including Madeline Bilicki (center), perform “Waltz of the Flower.”

Rose Allen sings “A Baby Changes Everything.” Santa Claus is in the background.

These dancers, including Katie Rustay at right and Michayla Kovaleski at left perform “You Wouldn’t Cry.” There were 18 differents acts for the show.

New performers, returning favorites will take stage for Hometown Christmas

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 November 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Amy Sidari, owner of Gotta Dance by Miss Amy and coordinator of the Hometown Christmas production, meets with performers and support staff on Sunday for the 5th annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas.

About 50 performers will be on the stage for three shows on Dec. 13 at Holy Family Parish Lyceum. Some new performers for this year’s show include Josie Waverly and Rachel Curtin, the Albion Elementary School principal. Waverly for the first time will also sing publicly with Marcy Downey, an Albion native and professional singer.

Hometown Christmas also serves as memorial for Nicholas Kovaleski. He inspired the Albion community with his valiant fight against leukemia. He died at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He would have graduated last June and likely would be a college freshman.

His mother Kelly and his sister Michayla will also perform during the show on Dec. 13.

During his fight with leukemia, Nick urged the community to “Live with Purpose.” His classmates and the school staff and teachers continue to keep Nick’s memory and his message alive. Proceeds from the show are used for a scholarship in Nicholas Kovaleski’s name. It is given to a senior who lives with purpose.

For more information, click here.

File photo – Catherine Thom and other dancers in Gotta Dance by Miss Amy perform Snowflakes, an excerpt from the Nutcracker during last year’s Hometown Christmas. The row in the back includes, from left: Laiken Ricker, Rylie Lear and Lauren Thomas.

‘Hometown Christmas’ provides inspiration and entertainment

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

Catherine Thom and other dancers in Gotta Dance by Miss Amy perform Snowflakes, an excerpt from the Nutcracker during Saturday’s fourth annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas. The row in the back includes, from left: Laiken Ricker, Rylie Lear and Lauren Thomas.

Marcy Downey sings “Over the Rainbow” during the Hometown Christmas show on Saturday at the Holy Family Parish Lyceum.

A cast of about 50 performed songs and dances in memory of Nicholas, who died at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He would have been a senior this year.

A video at the beginning of the program featured Nick’s classmates and school staff holding signs with inspirational messages. During his fight with leukemia, Nick urged the community to “Live with Purpose.” His classmates and the school staff and teachers continue to keep Nick’s memory and his message alive.

Lydia Erakare, one of Nick’s classmates, holds a sign that says, “Be Brave! Take Chances! Challenge Yourself!”

The Gotta Dance studio performed three shows on Saturday that drew more than 300 people. Proceeds are used to a fund a scholarship in Nick’s memory. So far, five scholarships have been awarded to graduating Albion students.

Nick’s mother Kelly Kovaleski , left, sings “The Shape of You,” a song she used to sing with her son at bedtime. She is joined by Albion music teacher Karen Conn.

Nick’s brother Matt Kovaleski introduces his band, “The Chick Magnets,” which also includes Noah Duvall, Connor McQuillan, Nick Sacco and Bryce Pritchard.

The Rev. Richard Csizmar, pastor of the Holy Family Parish, shares a reflection during the one of the shows on Saturday.

‘Hometown Christmas’ will honor memory of Nicholas Kovaleski

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – More than 50 participants have been rehearsing for the fourth annual Nicholas Kovaleski Hometown Christmas. Gotta Dance by Miss Amy will perform three shows on Dec. 14 at noon, 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Holy Family Parish Lyceum, 106 South Main St.

Amy Sidari, Gotta Dance owner and director of the show, is pictured with a group photo of last year’s cast.

Nicholas Kovaleski inspired the Albion community with his valiant fight against leukemia. He died at age 15 on June 29, 2011. He was a popular student at Albion, excelling at football, swimming and tennis. He would have been a senior this year.

Several of Nick’s classmates will share a presentation during the Hometown Christmas. Nick’s mother Kelly will sing a solo, “The Shape Of You,” and Nick’s sister Michayla will do a solo dance. There are 15 acts in all.

Noted local musicians Marcy Downey and Gary Simboli are among the performers.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun with a lot of humor,” Sidari said.

The Rev. Richard Csizmar, parish priest, will also share a reflection during the each of the shows.

For more information about the show and tickets, click here.

Albion Merchants seek donations for live Christmas tree at Courthouse Square

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 April 2021 at 2:08 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from December 2013 shows an artificial Christmas tree on the lawn of the Courthouse Square. The Albion Merchants Association is raising money for a large live Christmas tree.

ALBION – The Albion Merchants Association is seeking donations to have a Christmas tree planted in the Courthouse Square.

The group has an $800 fundraising goal for a “Fat Albert Colorado Blue Spruce” tree. It is trying to hit the fundraising goal soon so the tree could be planted this spring by Preston’s Lawncare.

Artifical trees have been set up at the Courthouse Square in the past by the Village of Albion DPW. More recently, the DPW has set up that tree at the Waterman Park, where there is a large Santa mural. The Albion Betterment Committee is working to have a bronze Santa statue in that park, about a half block south of the Erie Canal.

The Albion Merchants Association said the live tree planted at the Square would be used for events, including tree-lighting, Christmas caroling, family photo opportunities and the annual Hometown Holiday celebration in December. It would also add to Albion’s ambiance as a “Santa village,” said Natasha Wasuck, who is spearheading the project for the AMA.

To see the GoFundMe for the tree, click here.

Photo by Elliott Neidert: This drone photo from February 2017 was taken by Elliott Neidert. It shows the Courthouse Square with a light coating of snow.

Albion merchants plan busy ‘Hometown Holiday’ on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 December 2020 at 7:09 pm

Events include tree-lighting at Waterman Park, selfies with Santa

Photo by Tom Rivers: This Christmas tree is shown last December at Waterman Park by the mural showing Albion native Charles Howard as Santa, flying over the downtown and Courthouse Square. The tree will be lighted up at 4:15 on Saturday during the Hometown Holiday celebration.

ALBION – The Albion Merchants Association has several activities planned for Saturday as part of the annual Hometown Holiday celebration.

The schedule includes:

  • 10 a.m. to noon – Selfies with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Beaver Alley
  • 10 a.m. to noon – Ribbon ornaments at Town and Country Quilter
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Ornament kits at Red Check Rustic
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Christmas Time Fun at 49 Main St. while supplies last
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Letters to Santa at Downtown Browsery
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Dubby’s Wood Fired Pizza at The Lockstone
  • 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Ornaments with Mrs.Claus at The Back Room
  • Noon to 4 p.m. – Cocoa & Christmas Canvases at He Brews 5:9/Marked by Janna
  • 2 to 4 p.m. – Free ice cream at Tinsel
  • 4:15 p.m. – Tree Lighting Ceremony at Waterman Park

The winners of the storefront decorating contest will be announced at the tree-lighting. People can vote for their favorite on the AMA Facebook page (click here).

The events on Saturday also include at a ribbon-cutting at Maison Albion, the former Pillars at 13800 County House Rd.

Kerri and Cole Glover, the owners of Maison Albion, will host a grand opening with a Victorian holiday party with a French flair. Click here for more information on the party – Fête de Nöel.

Medina will be busy on Saturday for Olde Tyme Christmas celebration

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 27 November 2020 at 9:25 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: Cobblestone The Girl Scouts in the Cobblestone Service Unit won the “Littlest Elf Award” for their float in the Nov. 24, 2018 parade.

MEDINA – In spite of the Covid pandemic, the village of Medina has found ways to celebrate their annual Christmas in Medina, scheduled on Saturday.

While the annual Christmas in Medina will have a different look this year, there will be a celebration on Saturday, which will conclude with the Parade of Lights in a reverse format.

Cindy Robinson and Kathy Blackburn are the annual chairs of the day-long event in Medina, which will begin with the Home for the Holidays 5K at 9 a.m. That event is sold out.

Residents are invited to join merchants for Shop Small Saturday, with specials being offered by many local small town merchants.

One local shopper is Karen Sawicz, owner of the Orleans Hub and Lake Country Pennysaver, who prefers to shop as much as possible with small local merchants in Orleans County, because she believes they are the backbone of the county in providing jobs as well as goods and services.

Shopping local and supporting small town businesses is crucial to their existence, especially with the hardships caused by the pandemic.

Due to Covid restrictions, visits with Santa on Saturday will be at the Senior Center on West Avenue this year. Children and parents can enter through one door and exit through the other, thereby adhering to social distancing. Masks will be required and there will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.

Santa and Mrs. Claus’ schedule for their appearances at the Santa House in Rotary Park throughout the holiday season will be posted on Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas Facebook page and in store windows.

Here is map for the “reverse parade” on Saturday at the Medina school campus. The floats will be stationary and people will pass by them in vehicles. The entrance is on West Oak Orchard Street at the Oak Orchard Elementary School drive. Vehicles will exit on Maple Ridge Road near the high school.

The fourth annual Parade of Lights Toy Drive, led by Andrew Szatkowski, also had to adapt this year, and instead of collecting toys downtown, they are hosting a “Santa Hat Drive” at the start of the parade. Volunteer elves with Santa hats, much like a fireman’s boot drive, will be at the parade to collect spare change. All donations will go directly to local groups to help make a brighter Christmas for kids in Orleans County.

The Cutest Little Elf contest has gone virtual this year. Pictures can be submitted to Medina’s Olde Tyme Christmas Facebook page from this Saturday through Dec. 12. Winners will be based on how many “likes” a photo receives. Prizes will be provided by hometown businesses.

The Children’s Window Scavenger Hunt theme this year will be “The Night Before Christmas Mouse.” Entry forms are available online at christmasinmedina.com and at the English Rose Tea Shoppe, 527 Main St.

The Canal Village Farmers’ Market will take on a Christmas theme every Saturday until Christmas. The market is located at the corner of West Avenue and West Center Street.

The traditional children’s activities offered by downtown merchants will be available this year for two weeks – on Saturday through Dec. 12 (unless otherwise noted) during each business’s regular hours. This is to avoid large crowds which might violate Health Department recommendations.

Shoppers can enter to win an electric toy train by dropping off a non-perishable food item at the English Rose Tea Shoppe and receiving one raffle ticket for each item donated. Donations will be given to the Medina Food Pantry. Also at the English Rose Tea Shoppe, kids can pick up their special Santa Claus stationary to write their letter to Santa. Letters can be mailed in a special mail box in front of Rotary Park. The Tea Shoppe will also be handing out free samples of their most popular teas.

Alexandra Peracciny Photography on the second floor at 519 Main St. will be offering a holiday photo card/frame kit. Also, a complimentary photo booth will be set up in the studio from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

At Case-Nic Cookies at 439 Main St, kits to “Frost Your Own Cookie” will be sold for $1, with the proceeds going to the Medina Food Pantry.

Creekside Floral at 509 Main St. will offer a surprise “take and make” craft to complete at home.

Children can pick up a picture at Blissetts, 449 Main St., for a coloring contest. Pictures should be returned to blissetts by Dec. 12 to be entered to win a prize.

At the Book Shoppe, 519 Main St., there will be a take and make snowman bookmark craft.

Upscale Overstock at 339 North Main St. will offer a different take home kids’ craft each week.

Also at 339 North Main St., Mandeo’s Candy Shoppe will have cups of hot chocolate (with surprise ingredients, such as a peppermint stick or chocolate spoon) to make at home. Cost is $3 and proceeds will be donated to Anchoring Hope of New York and Buffalo Sabres Warriors Sled Hockey Program.

The Downtown Browsery at 413 Main St. will offer a take and make Santa ornament and a letter to Santa on which children can put their wish list. It can be returned to the Browsery and put in the Letters to Santa mailbox. The Browsery is also one of the locations for the MAAC collection barrels, and shoppers are encouraged to drop off a new toy to help make Christmas special for those less fortunate.

Since Canalside Tattoo can’t host the toy drive this year, they got together with Erin Townsend Photography to make 2021 calendars which they will sell for $30.

A variety of take and make crafts will also be available at Lyric & Lizzy Boutique, 335 North Main St.

Santa and Mrs. Claus make their way to the Medina Theatre after a parade through the downtown last year on Nov.30 when they rode in an old Medina fire truck. This year they will be at the Senior Center on West Avenue. Children and parents can enter through one door and exit through the other to adhere to social distancing. Masks will be required and there will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.

Anyone who brings a small baby item to Herbalty Collage will receive a “Stress-Free Holiday Bath Soak.” Baby items will be donated to Care Net of Greater Orleans.

Shoppers can drop off a gift for children and/or teenagers in the MAAC barrel at Ashlee’s Place, 116 East Center St.

As is the tradition, the day will be topped off with the spectacular Parade of Lights, which definitely has a different look this year. There will not be the traditional fireworks, but Instead of the parade passing by the spectators, the parade will be stationary and the spectators will drive by it. This is to eliminate the big crowds which usually gather on Main Street.

This year, cars will enter the parade route on West Oak Orchard Street at the Oak Orchard Elementary School drive near Genesee Street. Genesee Street will be closed to traffic. Cars are to proceed to the parade entrance and follow the route through the school campus, exiting at the high school on Maple Ridge Road. The parade will start promptly at 5 p.m., immediately after a ribbon cutting near Vets Park with parade marshals Dave and Trudy Schwert. Parade floats will be on display until 8 p.m., according to parade chairman Jim Hancock.

Christmas garlands, streamers return to Albion downtown

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 December 2019 at 10:10 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Some of the Christmas garlands and streamers are back in the downtown, including these decorations on the Pratt building on Main Street.

The Village Board declared some of the decorations as surplus and they were purchased by Liz Groat, president of the Downtown Browsery. Groat repaired many of the decorations and convinced some of the merchants to hang them on their buildings.

Krantz Furniture was the first to display the decorations. The village didn’t want to hang the garlands and streamers across the street because of concern the buildings didn’t have attachments to securely display the decorations across the street.

The decorations gradually fell into disrepair and were declared surplus. The village sold eight stream liners which include two 22-foot lighted garlands with a lighted wreath. Groat submitted the highest bid of $360. She spent more money and time repairing the decorations.

The Pratt and Day buildings, owned by Michael Bonafede and Judith Koehler, give the decorations prominent display.

The Village of Albion DPW this year set up the Christmas tree in the downtown at Waterman Park by the mural showing Albion native Charles Howard as Santa, flying over the downtown and Courthouse Square.

The DPW also put up many wreaths and banners about the holiday season. This banner celebrates Charles Howard, who ran a Santa School in Albion from 1937 to 1966.

The Albion Merchants Association announced the winner of the Hometown Holiday Window Decorating contest. Frontier Heating & A/C Service Inc. won for this display at its storefront on East Bank Street.

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Albion downtown was busy with activities for Hometown Holiday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2019 at 10:20 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Grinch was a greeter at 39 Problems on Saturday as part of Albion’s Hometown Holiday.

The Grinch is Chet Kwiatkowski. He is pictured with his granddaughter Myleigh Miller, grandson Garrett Miller, and daughter Erica Miller.

39 Problems would later host an ugly sweater contest.

The Albion Merchants Association had many activities in the downtown as part of the annual Hometown Holiday.

Paula Brooks, a vendor at the Downtown Browsery, dressed up as Sparkles the Elf. Many of the stores had opportunities to make Christmas cookies, write letters to Santa, make ornaments and sample holiday treats.

Nathaniel Staines, an Albion police officer, joined children and families in a coloring contest at the Albion Village Hall. Police officers were on hand to share coffee, doughnuts and pizza.

Saturday there was also a benefit by Red Check Rustic for Lisa Wilson and her family. Wilson recently suffered three strokes and is recovering at Unity Hospital in Rochester. The benefit included 105 baskets that were raffled from the second floor of the Pratt Building.

Debbie Prest, second from left, was one of the main organizers of the benefit. She is pictured from left with June Wilson (Lisa’s mother-in-law), Terri Drennan and Lynn Burgess. Lisa’s son Damian, a senior at Albion, is at far left. Lisa also has a son Drake with her husband Chad.

The two went to Albion school together and have stayed in Albion. Lisa works for ESL in Rochester after working about 20 years in Albion at the site that has been Dime Bank, Washington Mutual, Chase and CRFS.

Her husband thanked the community for its support, and the organizers of Saturday’s benefit.

Provided photo: Tinsel hosted a Christmas painting with Santa in the morning and later showed holiday movies and did cookie decorating.

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Mr. Scribbles, Santa add star power to Albion’s Hometown Holiday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 December 2018 at 8:14 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – “Mr. Scribbles” – Michael Sparling of Perry – was a popular person Saturday during the Hometown Holiday celebration in downtown Albion. Sparling lets kids scribble on a paper and then he adds cartoons of animals with a friendly message.

He is making a picture for Carsyn Mogle, 7, of Holley at the Village Office.

Oliver Carter, 5, Albion gets his picture taken with four members of the Albion Police Department, including from left: officer Daryl Robb, Lt. David Mogle, officer Nathaniel Staines and Police Chief Roland Nenni.

The Police Department served coffee and doughnuts in the morning and pizza for lunch. They were one of the stations at the Village Hall.

The Albion merchants Association organized the seventh annual Hometown Holiday, which included many activities at downtown businesses and a raffle.

Al Capurso helps children with a craft. He also led the group in singing Christmas carols.

Albion police officer Karol Hughes chats with Santa at the Village Office.

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