Albany prepares for Lark Fest
An annual Albany tradition gets underway this weekend. Lark Fest attracts thousands of people every year, but as our Brooke Selby tells us, in an effort to keep this year's party safe, they'll be a few things missing.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean the fun has to end. This week, the City of Albany is preparing for one of its largest fall festivals.
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings said, “We're asking all the merchants and everyone to monitor what’s going on there and make sure it’s a fun day for everyone.”
This year’s celebration will be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Lark Street is already abuzz.
“It’s the busiest day of the year,” said Evan Schultz, Café Hollywood General Manager. “It’s probably in the top three for this bar in general.”
The biggest changes to this year’s festival is that outside coolers and alcohol won't be allowed on Lark Street. The "no cooler" policy was made by the Lark Street Business Improvement District, also known as BID, in conjunction with the city.
Megan McGrath, the Director of Operations of BID, said, “We really want to control the alcohol consumption at this event. It’s about the music. It’s about having fun. We're not against having fun at all.”
The new restrictions are similar to the changes made this year at Alive at Five and the Tulip Festival. Additional Albany Police Department presence is expected on every corner.
“People can still drink at the bars. They are allowed to bring a cup of beer out in the official cup,” McGrath said.
Leaving many bars along Lark very happy.
“As long as they crack down on it, it will definitely improve our business.”
BID has beefed up this year's roster with additional bands and children's activities to make the event more family friendly.