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Rebuild Bullard remains committed to improving Albion park

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 January 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Ron Albertson, one of the organizers of Rock the Park, is pictured during last year’s music festival at Bullard on July 25. This year’s event on Aug. 20 will run in cooperation with the Metro 10 race in Albion.

ALBION – The Village of Albion may have been denied a state grant for Bullard Park last month, but members of the “Rebuild Bullard” committee are determined to upgrade the park.

Committee members, led by the Albion Lions Club, would like to add new playground equipment this year.

“We’re trying to be part of the solution,” Ron Albertson, a Lions Club member, told the Village Board on Wednesday. “We’re trying lots of things to build up our little community.”

The third annual Rock the Park music festival will also be bigger this year on Aug. 20, Albertson said. That event will partner with the Metro 10 race in Albion and both events should feed off each other. The Metro 10 is a 10-mile race pitting runners from Rochester versus Buffalo. The race concludes at Bullard Park in a party-like atmosphere with a band and food.

Rock the Park will continue after the post-race party with several more bands playing until about 9 p.m.

The first Rock the Park drew about 200 people to the Elks Club. Last year was moved to Bullard and about 2,000 people attended, said Albertson, one of the event organizers.

“It’s getting more exciting with the Metro 10,” Albertson told the Village Board. “We’re thinking 4,000 to 6,000 people now.”

Albertson said his long-term goal would be to develop an amphitheater in the park for larger concerts at Bullard. He believes a concert series at the park with some big-name bands in the region could draw thousands of people to Albion.

They could park in the downtown and take shuttle buses to the park. That way the downtown merchants could benefit from the events.

Albion has tried three times for state grants to upgrade Bullard. The last grant application included a request to help develop a spray park. But Albion was denied.

“The Lions Club hasn’t given up on the park,” said Dale Brooks, a Lions Club member and former DPW superintendent for the village. “We’re still going forward with the park.”