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Albion extends concert series by 3 weeks

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Jessica Condes and The Sophisticats performs on East Bank Street in Albion on Thursday evening. The crowd got bigger later in the evening.

ALBION – The Albion Village Board is declaring a new downtown concert series a success and will extend it by three more events this summer.

The board on Wednesday made the decision, following good feedback from concert goers and downtown merchants. The concerts have been attracting about 200 people to East Bank Street, which is blocked off to traffic for the concerts.

“It’s a way to give back to the community,” said Eileen Banker, a village trustee.

She was at Thursday’s concert, volunteering with the Albion Fire Department by selling hot dogs and other refreshments.

Leon and Peggy Randall drove from Holley for the concert, setting up lawn chairs on the Bank Street sidewalk. The couple says they go to several of the concert series in the area.

“This is very good common sense to get the community involved and see the businesses in the downtown and on the side streets,” Mr. Randall said. “There is a lot more here than what people see on Main Street.”

Bobby Skrzypek And The Pedestrians opened for the Sophisticats on Thursday.

The series started with five concert dates and that has been extended to eight with new dates added for July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14.

The board said it would spend up to $1,500 for the additional concerts, but Banker is optimistic sponsors could reduce that expense to the village. The first five concerts were funded by the village with support from the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council and the Albion Rotary Club.

Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade and a member of the Albion Merchants Association, said the business owners appreciate the village working hard to promote the downtown.

“I only hear good things about the concerts,” she said. “Everyone is excited the village is doing this.”

Gary Deiboldt of Albion plays the keyboards for the Sophisticats.