Fall festival planned for city

JOHNSTOWN – The city’s Tourism/Special Events Committee decided Thursday to plan a Harvest Festival and child’s parade downtown, which would be conducted just before Halloween.

Third Ward Councilman Helen Martin, committee chairwoman, said the group’s biggest efforts lately have involved the proposed festival and other fall events. The event was discussed at a committee meeting Thursday night at City Hall.

“We’re just working on plans for the fall,” Martin stated.

Martin said her committee – a panel of city government – is looking to conduct what it is calling a Harvest Festival on Oct. 26 downtown. She said the event will include a small children’s Halloween parade.

“We haven’t exactly determined the route,” the councilwoman said. “We’re trying to get business involved.”

She said the fall festival also may involve a pumpkin-carving contest and other activities downtown.

The committee also has been discussing other events for the rest of the year, including activities related to the city’s annual Colonial Stroll and tree lighting ceremony Dec. 6 downtown, Martin said. She said that event could include “performers,” but she didn’t get into details.

“We’re also looking at some other things for fireworks for New Year’s Eve,” Martin said.

Efforts downtown by the committee are part of an effort by city government, volunteers and downtown businesses to create more cultural and family activities in the heart of the city.

From government’s end, the Common Council on July 15 agreed to apply for a $200,000 state NY Main Street Grant to help revitalize downtown. The council hired Orion Management Co. of Amsterdam for $3,000 to prepare the grant application. Officials said the grant could assist with downtown streetscape and building improvements.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced availability of the reimbursement funding, with grant submissions due Monday. Funding is available to communities through the state Office of Community Renewal.

City Treasurer Michael Gifford said Monday the city is on the verge of submitting its application to the state. He said the paperwork is almost done on an application being prepared with the help of City Engineer Chandra Cotter and grant writer Nicholas Zabawsky.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.