The Gloversville Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the Recreation Commission’s $10,650 budget for 2022 events, which includes the commission’s plan to take over the city’s annual Christmas Parade.
City Clerk Jenni Mazur, liaison between the five-member commission and the Common Council, told the council one of the only major changes to the lineup of events for from last year to this year is a modification of “Food Truck Fridays,” an event the commission co-sponsors with the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.
“For Food Truck Friday, we cut that down,” Mazur told the council. “Instead of being essentially five months of the year, we’re going to be doing what seems to be the sweet spot between Memorial Day and Labor Day.”
These are the planned events funded by the commission’s budget:
• Easter Egg Hunt — April 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., budget: $350.
• Fishing Derby — April 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $450.
• Wine & Food Festival — June 4, 3 to 8 p.m., $1,000.
• Railfest — Aug. 13, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., $2,000.
• Bacon & Brew Festival — Sept. 24, 4 to 9 p.m., $1,500.
• Fall Festival — Oct. 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $2,000.
• Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting — Dec. 3, starting at 5 p.m., $1,500.
• Movies in the Park — Three dates still to be announced, $600.
• Food Truck Fridays — Every Friday from May 27 to Sept. 2, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., no cost to the city.
• Dinner with Santa – Polar Express Night — Dec. 17, 4 to 8 p.m., $500.
Mazur said the council’s approval of the Recreation Commission’s events budget grants the commission permission to take over the organization of the annual Christmas Parade. She said the commission had discussed taking over organization responsibilities in 2021 when long-time parade organizer Ryan Lorey decided not to seek a permit for the event.
“By the time we really had the confirmation on that, we just thought it was a little bit too much of a short notice to pull out a successful parade,” Mazur said. “So, we decided just to wait until this year, get it on the calendar at the start of the year and be able to formulate it appropriately to put on the best parade that we can.”
Gloversville hasn’t had a Christmas Parade since 2019, due mostly to the coronavirus pandemic. Lorey, the owner-operator of the Fulton County Area News Facebook page, had organized the event from 2015-2019 after it had previously been known as the Classic Image Johnstown Holiday Parade from 2000-2014.
In December, Jordan Twardy, one of the five members of the Recreation Commission, had attempted to organize the parade after the commission had decided against it, using a $695 donation from former Leader-Herald photography editor Bill Trojan and his wife Ann Trojan to pay for insurance for the parade.
Although Mayor Vince DeSantis had agreed to allow the parade to happen, and provide all of the police personnel necessary for the event, it was ultimately canceled twice due to inclement weather.
Mazur said, for 2022, the five members of the Commission — Chairman Jeremy Krajewski, Treasurer April Reinhardt, Secretary Jordan Twardy, and members Logan Barclay and John Proske — will be tasked with organizing the parade.
DeSantis said the annual parade has additional costs to the city beyond the $1,500 budgeted for the Recreation Commission’s expenses in organizing it.
“The Christmas Parade requires a lot of police overtime, and for the Fire Department, so, even though the city wasn’t organizing it before, it was still the city that supported it with a lot of resources because usually the parade is in the evening, during the winter time, and there’s always the possibility of someone getting hurt,” DeSantis said.
“We also have to block 20 intersections,” Mazur added, describing the logistics of the event.
“It’s a huge undertaking that the city has to do, so it probably is reasonable for the city to actually organize it,” DeSantis said.