An organizer of the proposed Clarence Hollow Fest said he believes the three-day event could be staged in Main Street Town Park this summer without the town incurring additional expenses, while drawing more attention to Clarence Hollow.
The Clarence Hollow Association plans to host the event July 4 to 6, with amusement rides, live music and participation by local restaurants and other businesses.
Paul J. Cambria Jr., an attorney who is part of the association, said a ride operator, local businesses and bands are enthusiastic about participating. He outlined plans to the Town Board at its work session Wednesday, describing how organizers plan to cover their own costs and tasks, including garbage cleanup, on their own.
“I think obviously we need to have the blessing of [the Town Board] so we can then get to some concrete agreement,” Cambria said.
Board members asked Cambria to come back with specifics for areas they had questions about. They sounded generally receptive to the event, but some raised concerns about parking, the impact on athletic fields and park accessibility during the Fourth of July holiday for people not attending the festival.
“I can see people trying to park all over the place,” Councilman Peter DiCostanzo said.
Cambria addressed some points that have come up since plans for Hollow Fest surfaced, such as whether the event would compete with Day in the Park, scheduled for the same location a few days in advance.
“Day in the Park is before us, so I don’t see how we’re going to have a problem,” he said. “We’re not going to conflict with them.”
Another prominent event, the Taste of Clarence, falls later on the summer calendar.
The Hollow Association sees the three-day event as a way to increase the hamlet’s visibility. Cambria said Williamsville’s Old Home Days is successful at drawing teenage visitors, a younger demographic that he said is good to capture for the town’s future.
“That’s an important target group for anybody that’s trying to attract vibrance, if you will, within the community,” he said.
Hollow Fest would rely on support from service organizations and volunteer fire companies, while also covering its own costs for security personnel, Cambria said. A locally based ride operator, Hammerl Amusements, is ready to participate, he added.
Cambria said any proceeds the Clarence Hollow Association generates from Hollow Fest would be directed toward its efforts to improve the hamlet, such as decorative snowflakes that are being added to Main Street.
“What we’re interested in is involving the community,” he said. “No one is making any money off this.”
• In other business, the Town Board agreed to pay about $17,400 to AmeriMerc of Wichita, Kan., for a slide that will be installed at the Main Street Town Park pool. The agreement hinges on AmeriMerc’s terms of delivery for the slide.