Parade, stroll may run together

JOHNSTOWN – The city’s Committee for Tourism & Special Events recently discussed combining the Colonial Stroll with the Classic Image Johnstown Holiday Parade to make one full day of holiday activities downtown in December.

The parade – run by organizer Karen Coppola – is funded through donations and usually conducted in November.

The Colonial Stroll is usually in December, closer to Christmas, with more city government involvement.

“I have to reach out to Karen Coppola to see if there’s a possibility of combining the two things,” tourism committee Chairwoman Helen Martin said Friday.

Coppola said today city officials thought years ago it was a “bad idea,” but she thinks it would be “crazy not to” combine the events.

“I would be interested in [combining the events],” she said.

Martin, the city’s 3rd Ward councilwoman, heads a committee that has been looking at ways to improve culture downtown.

She said the committee – which met Tuesday at the Johnstown Area Community Center – talked about having one large day-long Johnstown Holiday Celebration on Dec. 1.

Martin said the committee feels the holiday celebration could start off with the Colonial Stroll, including wagon rides and Santa’s workshop during the day, with the annual tree lighting close to sundown. The tree lighting could kick off the parade, she said, and the parade would end the event.

The committee feels streamlining downtown events can offer the most visibility and visitors to the city, Martin said.

The committee also discussed a few other possible events in the city, including a Central Business District Garage Sale from May 3 to 5.

The Vintage Cafe will conduct its 18th Annual Classic Car Show on June 13, Martin said. The cafe also will host a motorcycle show in August.

The committee also is exploring a New Year’s Eve celebration Dec. 31 with a $13.14 special – whether it’s a meal, service or retail item – leading up to fireworks in the West Main Street park, Martin said. Fireworks would start at 9 p.m. and may again be hosted by the JACC.

“We’re going to try to be selective and start with a few events this year and then grow from there next year,” Martin said.

Other possible events to be researched later by the committee included: movie and game nights in the downtown park, a food festival, a winter carnival with ice and snow sculpture contests, birdhouse contest, history scavenger hunt, Easter egg hunt, Spring Fling Market, and window painting.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at