ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Washington Park. Crew members from the Albany Police Athletic League, also known as PAL, spent Tuesday morning unloading nearly 500 lights measuring 5- to 10-feet tall off of tractor-trailers. There are only a few weeks left until the 25th annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park kicks off.
The Capital Holiday Lights in the Park has been a staple in Albany for decades. Between securing a permit from the Albany mayor’s office and the ongoing staffing shortage, this year was off to a late start. PAL couldn’t hire crew members until they got their permit from the city, which was about a two-week delay.
“You cannot unload a truck with only three people,” said PAL member Justin Burke. The delay made it tricky to recruit hires. Originally, the organization didn’t have enough hands-on deck until now. “It’s like any construction site. It’s hard work. It is hard work, and we like to work safe, so we need many hands to make the work lighter,” said PAL ground supervisor Louis Fantroy.
With the help and support of the local media outlets who shared PAL’s story of need, the nonprofit was able to successfully recruit enough staff members to help make this year’s show a possibility. A total of 18 crew were hired to work the season.
Some say the show must go on, a reason why East Greenbush native Nick Moroz wanted to lend a helping hand. “I had no intentions in doing this until I heard they needed some help, I had some free time so I figured to lend a hand,” said Nick.
This is the last time the event will be held in Washington Park. PAL has already begun looking for a new location for 2022. During the show, drive-up purchases will not be allowed, and any patron
attempting to enter the event without a pre-purchased ticket. For anyone unable to purchase online, in-person tickets may be available for purchase, ahead of time, in the PAL office Monday through Friday during normal business hours.
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