: Albany Police Athletic League: Leanne Ricchiuti, 518-222-8073
ALBANY, NY – Albany Police Athletic League Board Chairman David Bauer and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan today announce the 25th Season of the Price Chopper/Market 32 Capital Holiday Lights in the Park beginning November 26, 2021, through January 2, 2022.
PAL is actively and urgently looking to hire the staff needed to make this year’s 25th Anniversary more spectacular than ever. Interested individuals will be a member of the set-up, operations, and disassembly crew. Electrician technicians are also needed. Lighting display set up will begin shortly. Volunteers are always welcome.
This 25th Celebratory year comes with a couple of changes. New this year, all admissions must be secured ahead of time, online via the Albany Capital Holiday Lights in the Park website. Drive-up purchases will not be allowed, and any patron attempting to enter the event without a pre-purchased ticket will be referred to the website to secure their ticket for admission. For anyone unable to purchase online, in-person tickets will be available for purchase, ahead of time, in the PAL office Monday through Friday during normal business hours.
Additionally, PAL will host pedestrian-only evenings. They will be on the Sunday and Monday of opening week, November 21st and 22nd, and Saturday, December 11th.
Sunday, November 21st will be Food for Friends Walk Night, the proceeds of which will go to PAL’s programming, and the Charities of Choice: American Red Cross of Northeastern New York and Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY. Admission is $5 per person, or $10 for a family. Patrons are encouraged to bring a non-perishable item as a donation to the Capital Region Food Pantry.
Monday, November 22nd will be Pet Walk Night. Admission is $5 per person, or $10 for a family. Pets are admitted for free.
Saturday, December 11th’s walk night will correspond with the City of Albany's 25th Annual Last Run 5K.
Supporters of the Capital Holiday Lights in the Park and the youth programs of PAL are invited to walk through the displays each night from 4:45 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., before the show is opened to vehicle traffic.
The 25th Season of Holiday Lights in the Park will be the final year that the event will be held in Washington Park. The Albany Police Athletic League has already begun looking for a suitable new location for 2022.
“Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park has been a Capital Region tradition since 1997,” said Bauer. “In this, our twenty-fifth and final year here in Washington Park, we look forward to bringing our area residents this symbol of hope, love, and peace that defines the holiday season.”
Bauer continues, “And while we are sad to leave our home, this 25th year will be a fantastic send-off. We look forward to the continuation of the lights show, so that PAL can continue to support the more than 2,000 children and families of Albany who participate in PAL programming annually. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting announcement.”
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "As beloved as Lights in the Park is in the Capital Region, this car-centric, heavy impact event has taken its toll on our historic Washington Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. In order to preserve this historic treasure in our city for its next 150 years, and continue our work to achieve our carbon reduction targets, the time has come to acknowledge this event is not consistent with these goals. We have worked closely with PAL, the elected officials and neighborhood associations representing residents who live around Washington Park, as well as the Washington Park Conservancy, to develop a plan to host a farewell year in Washington Park in 2021, and I commend each of the organizations for their efforts. As PAL begins planning for the future of the event at a new location, the City of Albany will do whatever it can to support those efforts and ensure PAL can continue to offer important programming for our younger residents in the years to come."
For anyone interested in helping to support PAL’s critical youth programs and create holiday memories for more than 100,000 youth and families who made the Capital Holiday Lights in the park the region’s premier holiday attraction, contact Albany PAL by phone at 518-435-0392 or by email, to apply or volunteer to help with this year’s show.
A full schedule of events for the 25th Season of Capital Holiday Lights in the Park will be posted online soon. Check back for updates.
County Legislator, 5th District, Matthew Peter said, “Thank you to Mayor Sheehan, my colleagues in the community, and PAL for reaching this important compromise. I am excited there will be an improved focus on pedestrian safety and pedestrian use in Washington Park in the years to come.”
Councilmember Richard Conti of the 6th Ward said, "This is a reasonable compromise which allows PAL an additional and final year for Lights in the Park to celebrate its 25th anniversary and an opportunity next year to return the Washington Park to public use and the expansion of winter recreational activities. I commend Mayor Sheehan, PAL and our neighborhood representatives for working together to find a positive path forward that works for everyone."
Shadi Khadivi, Washington Park Neighborhood Association President, Jeff Crumpton, Hudson Park Neighborhood Association President, Jackaline Ring, Center Square Association President, Andrew Harvey, Park South Neighborhood Association President, and John Clarkson, Pine Hills Neighborhood Association President said, “We fully support the compromise announced today and want to thank Mayor Sheehan, members of her administration, and the board of the Police Athletic League for their willingness to sit down and discuss this important topic. In particular, the support and attention provided to us by the Mayor and her team has been critical to bringing this compromise to fruition. We thank them so very much for their time and attention to the concerns that we brought forward. We also want to thank David Bauer for his engagement on this subject. He was thoughtful and patient as he listened to the concerns of the surrounding neighborhoods. We are certain that PAL’s Capital Holiday Lights display tradition will live on for years to come and wish PAL the best in its new location."
“For the final year, this compromise puts in place a system to mitigate traffic congestion and other potential impacts for the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods, while also allowing PAL the time to determine a more suitable location which would allow it to thrive. In subsequent years, this will realign the use, care, and preservation of Washington Park back to its original mission by providing four-season access to this historic location. We look forward to working with the city and other community organizations in reimagining winter events, marketplaces, and activities that place local businesses and residents at the center of this planning.”
Daniel McEneny, Washington Park Conservancy President said, “The Washington Park Conservancy wants to thank Mayor Sheehan for facilitating discussions with the Police Athletic League’s board. These meetings revealed that concerns of public safety, quality of life, and environmental stewardship for the 150 year old park and its neighboring environs existed long before the 2020 Lights season. Due to the PAL Board’s willingness to listen to the advocates and city residents, the outcome of these meetings has resulted in thoughtful mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of the event’s final season. The Conservancy encourages all visitors of the park to adhere to the new processes in place to partake in the Lights, when possible attend the event on the designated walkable evenings, and to be respectful of the park and neighborhoods that have hosted this event for the past 25 years.”
About Albany Police Athletic League (PAL). The Albany Police Athletic League, Inc. (PAL) is a youth development program which brings kids, cops, and community together in non-law enforcement settings. PAL accomplishes its goals by presenting various educational, recreational, and social opportunities to Albany’s youth. Each year, PAL engages more than 2,000 youths with activities such as the After-School Enrichment Clubs, Mentoring, Police Explorers, Lacrosse, Track events, and much more. PAL can be reached at 518-435-0392 or online at www.albanypal.org.