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Big race, Rock the Park will band together in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 November 2015 at 12:00 am

File photos by Tom Rivers  – Runners cross the Main Street lift bridge as part of the Metro 10 race in Albion on Aug. 22. The debut 10-mile race pitted runners from Rochester versus Buffalo. The metro area that accumulated the most points won a trophy cup to be displayed in its city. Rochester took the title for 2015.

ALBION – Organizers of a day-long music festival and a big running event are teaming up next year to put on their events on the same day, Aug. 20.

Rock the Park and Metro 10 compliment each other, and the events will make for a bigger bash for the community.

“It’s going to make for a bigger draw by partnering up,” said Zack Burgess, one of the organizers of the Rock the Park event at Bullard Park.

The second Rock the Park was July 25 and featured bands playing from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The attendance picked up throughout the day for Rock the Park, but organizers want more people for the late morning, early afternoon performers.

The band Zero closed out the music festival on Saturday with Zack Burgess, center, as the lead singer. Dylan DeSmit, left, is on lead guitar and vocals, and Brad Maxon on bass. Dan Ryan plays the drums.

The Metro 10 started at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22 and ended with a post-race party at Bullard from about noon to 1:30 p.m. The race will start at 8 a.m. next year, with the post-race celebration to start in the late morning. That will guarantee a good crowd for Rock the Park during what was a slower time for the bands this past year.

“We’re going to work together to build a bigger event,” said Thom Jennings, the Metro 10 organizer. “The village will only have to set up the park once and we won’t compete for sponsors.”

Metro 10 is shifting to a new umbrella organization, from the Albion Running Club to the Warrior House, a charity that provides hunting opportunities in West Shelby for wounded veterans. Jennings’ nephew Peter Zeliff Jr.is head of the Warrior House.

There were about 400 runners in Albion race last year. Jennings said that was a great start for the debut race. The feedback from runners was overwhelmingly positive, but many wanted an earlier start time to beat the heat of the summer day.

Up2Somethin’ , a popular party band from Rochester, entertains at Bullard Park during the Metro 10 post-race party on Aug. 22. The seven-piece band includes Rickey Ellis on bass and vocals at right, and lead singer Evyn Grassl.

Jennings would like to bring back Up2Somethin’ to perform at a stage in the park. Burgess said many local bands are expected to follow.

“This is going to fill in the gaps,” Burgess said. “I think it will be a cool thing.”

Jennings also sees the race crowd giving a lift to Rock the Park. That event, with its many arts and craft vendors and lineup of entertainment should keep runners in the community after the race.

“As we’re winding down, they are starting to rev up,” Jennings said. “It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.”