Albion urged to host Main Street dinner with street blocked off for barbecue

Photos by Tom Rivers: Part of Albion downtown is shown in this photo in March after a dusting of snow. A group would like to close down part of Main Street for a barbecue, music and dancing in September.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2022 at 8:56 am

ALBION – The Village Board was urged to support a dinner on a blocked off Main Street. This wouldn’t be an upscale dinner, but a barbecue with live music and dancing.

Linda Smith and Kim Remley presented the idea to the Village Board on Friday. Smith would like to highlight local fruits, vegetables, meat and other products during the event, which she suggested for early September with a fall theme.

She would like to see Main Street blocked off to traffic from State Street to the canal. The Route 98 traffic would be diverted to the Ingersoll Street lift bridge over the canal.

Medina hosted its first Farm-to-Table Dinner on a closed off Main Street on Aug. 4, 2016. The five-course dinner was supposed to be capped at 100 but demand pushed it to 137 the first time. It has grown to 200, although cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.

Smith said the event would be different from the five-course meal at Medina’s Farm-to-Table dinner. That event is capped at 200 people and was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. Medina’s meal includes local food prepared by local restaurants with wine from the Niagara Wine Trail, including wineries in Orleans County. The tickets were $125.

Smith would like to sell the tickets at a much lower price with Albion residents known for being good cooks working on the meal. She suggested a cap of 100 people for the first time.

Smith and Remley said about 20 people have already offered to help organize and run the event.

“I think we need a fun, different adult event on Main Street,” Smith told the board.

She would like to see a temporary dance floor at the intersection of Bank and Main streets. And she would like to have some different games and activities, like pumpkin bowling and grape stomping.

While the food might be capped at 100, Smith said other the events could be open to others without a dinner ticket.

The Village Board said it would reach out the state Department of Transportation to see if the street could be closed down to traffic for several hours for the event.

“Thanks for keeping an open mind,” Smith responded.

She expects the event would be popular. She noted the art gallery reception the previous Friday at Marti’s on Main, where 150 people attended the art show.

“People are starved for cultural things,” she said.