ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -The upcoming holiday season looking to be not so bright for a second year. The Albany Police Athletic League (PAL) pushing the date back of their Capital Holiday Lights Extravaganza to 2024.
Capital Region families enjoyed PAL’s Capital Holiday Lights in Albany’s Washington Park for decades. But the tradition that started in 1997 turned into a nightmare before Christmas in its last few years. People who lived around the park complained about the increased traffic and safety concerns.
Executive Director of PAL, Leonard Ricchiuti, and his team settled on the Altamont Fair for their new location. The area needs more work to be a winter wonderland. “We had to settle on a route. What is the infrastructure on the route? Have to try to heat buildings that have never been heated before.”
If by a Christmas miracle the show was on, there would not have been anything under the trees, as sponsors and vendors needed to plan ahead. “Most of them have already committed to other shows or they just logistically can’t produce enough product now at this point,” explained Ricchiuti.
The police athletic league relies on funds raised from the holiday light show to provide services for Capital Region kids. This includes after school programming and summer camps. But lights out on this year’s festivities does not mean all hope is lost for PAL’s programs. “Last year our partners came to our aid. Helped us sustain through last year with no show. We’re hoping that folks in the Capital Region are reminded of the work that we do,” described Ricchiuti.