EDA official: Parade of Lights, vibrant downtown part of Medina’s draw for companies

Photos by Tom Rivers: Pack 18 of Gasport makes its way down Main Street during Saturday’s Parade of Lights, when about 40 different floats were part of the spectacle.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 November 2022 at 9:47 am

MEDINA – The annual Parade of Lights, which drew several thousand people to Medina’s downtown, was more than a popular community event.

The parade also showed a community with lots of pride, and that display is noticed by developers looking to come into Medina, said Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development for the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

She commended the village – its officials, employees, the organizations, businesses and residents – for Saturday’s Christmas festival.

“It is very important,” she said about well-run and well-attended festivals. “For some of the companies, it is very significant. You can tell they are impressed.”

Mahar Excavating & Septic in Gasport was back with another big effort with its parade float.

The parade was an hour and 15 minutes. It was preceded by fireworks and a full day of activities in the downtown, as well as the popular Polar Express train rides at the Medina Railroad Museum.

Barone spoke at Monday’s Village Board meeting and said the entire package in Medina was impressive and will help the EDA in its pitch to prospective businesses considering Medina.

“They see the sincerity of it,” Barone said about the parade and the Olde Tyme Christmas celebration. “I know it takes a lot of effort, but you should be proud of yourselves.”

Several fire departments, including East Shelby, decorated trucks in lights.

Mayor Mike Sidari said he received compliments “all over Western New York” about the parade and events on Saturday.

He said the village employees put in a long day’s work, setting and cleaning up, and also providing traffic control and other services.

Trustee Owen Toale said Saturday’s events, in 50-degree weather, showcased a busy downtown.

“It was magical with people going from store to store during the day and with the parade,” Toale said. “I only hope we are building even more for next year.”

Toale praised Jim Hancock, the parade committee chairman, and other volunteers for all of the work.

Beyond Mobility in Medina was among the businesses that decorated floats for the parade. Beyond Mobility installs wheelchair ramps, lifts, grab bars and other equipment to help people with mobility.