There is concern from neighborhood groups over Holiday Lights in the Park |

There is concern from neighborhood groups over Holiday Lights in the Park

Jonathan Hunter
Created: May 12, 2021 11:43 PM

Some neighbors have raised concerns about the Holiday Lights in the Park fundraiser that takes place every year at Washington Park in Albany. Some have even called to have the event removed. 

Owusu Anane represents the Pine Hills neighborhood of the 10th ward. He has heard from neighbors about the concerns related to traffic and noise. He says lights in the park is a major fundraiser for the Police Athletic League. He says they do a lot to help marginalized communities. He also knows a lot of people who look forward to the event. He is hoping that a compromise can be reached. Rich Mooney is running to be mayor for the city of Rensselaer. He says if elected to office, he'd be open to bringing the event to Rensselaer. He says he took his kids there growing up. He'd think it be great for the city. 

"I'm optimistic that in the next couple of weeks, months the stakeholders from PAL and also from the neighborhood will come together to come up with a plan moving forward, but it would be a disservice and to the city as a whole if we no longer have lights in the park," said Anane. 

"I was thinking that if Albany is not going to have it, let's bring it to Rensselaer. Why not Rensselaer, we're a great city. You got great little parks. Let's make it happen. We're willing to work with the Police Athletic League," said Mooney. 

David Bauer, chairman of the Albany Police Athletic League board released a statement:

 “Today, was the first meeting of the capital holiday lights advisory committee. the idea to form this committee arrived in December of last year after some members of the Albany community voiced their concerns over the Capital Holiday Lights in the Park event and its impact on the park and the surrounding neighborhoods.

This committee’s purpose is to address those concerns raised and bring suggested solutions to the mayor’s office and the neighborhood associations. we recognize the issues, and we’re listening.

We, again, invite the mayor’s office to have a representative on this committee. 

The Albany Police Athletic League submitted a permit for use of the park for the event on May 7, 2021, in hopes that an agreeable middle ground can be reached among all parties who enjoy the lights and the park.

The Capital Holiday Lights in the Park is the largest of only four annual fundraisers to help fund the Albany Police Athletic League’s programs which support local youth and families.”

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