Schenectady County

Scotia pulls plug on holiday festival

Scotia’s Holiday on the Avenue event has run out of merriment.

The village’s Holiday on the Avenue event has run out of merriment.

The festival, which has been around for 15 years, closes down Mohawk Avenue and sets up vendors and entertainment. However, the Scotia Business Improvement District has decided to discontinue the event.

Mayor Kris Kastberg said BID members believed the event had run its course.

“It’s kind of a loss for the village in my opinion,” he said.

Among the issues affecting the event was bad weather — extremely cold temperatures one year and extremely windy conditions another, according to Kastberg.

There also was a lack of things to do, he said. Whereas other holiday festivals have live music and other activities, Holiday on the Avenue consisted of some vendors along Mohawk Avenue and a maze.

Trustee Cathy Gatta said local businesses had felt the event was getting stale. Trustee Tom Neals agreed, stating that not all merchants were even open during Holiday on the Avenue.

“How do you expect people to come to an event if they’re going to walk down the street and there’s nothing to go to?” Neals asked.

Neals said the event probably didn’t even cover the cost of the police overtime needed to close down Mohawk Avenue.

Deputy Mayor Joe Rizzo said funding for Holiday on the Avenue came from proceeds of the Cruising on the Avenue car show held in June.

The village has experienced similar bad weather with its Winter Festival on Collins Lake, which included an ice fishing tournament.

Kastberg said one idea is to have some type of autumn festival, when weather would not be as much of an issue.

Kastberg believes the village needs its own special events committee because these events are so time-consuming to organize. It is more than the parks board or BID can handle, he said, so he is going to put together a proposal for an events committee.

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