NORTH TONAWANDA – The North Tonawanda Common Council on Tuesday approved plans for the annual parade for the Queen City Roller Girls (QCRG) at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in conjunction with its championship bout at Rainbow Rink. The parade is part of Carnegie Arts Center’s celebration of QCRG Day, which will be held from 3 p.m. to midnight. The parade begins at the museum at 240 Goundry St.
The parade is not new, but events this year take on special significance as the league recently announced plans to move its league from North Tonawanda’s Rainbow Rink to a new home at Buffalo RiverWorks in Buffalo beginning in January.
North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt said after the meeting that he’s been part of the parade for every year since he’s been mayor and said the girls have been a big part of the city.
“They’ve really been a part of the community. It’s really more than their just playing here,” Ortt said. “This year it’s obviously going to be bittersweet because they are going to a new home, which is great for them and great for the sport, but it’s obviously a bit disappointing that we are going to be losing them.”
The Carnegie Art Center is hosting a show at the gallery, opened last week Thursday, “Collide-a-scope 2014: STREET” which offers a retrospective of roller girl art, artistic skates and roller derby memorabilia.
The QCRG Day on Saturday includes a chicken barbecue on the steps of the Carnegie Art Center Gallery, presale only, a silent auction and 1½-block parade of the cup from the gallery to the Rainbow Rink. The championship game follows.
Ortt said the league established a home in North Tonawanda and he is hoping the QCRG remain a part of the city.
In announcing the move, the league has said they plan to continue to use the Rainbow Roller Rink for practices, expanded training, and a new noncompetitive recreational league.
In another matter, a longtime North Tonawanda business, Pane’s Restaurant at 984 Payne Ave., was unanimously granted permission to use a portion of the city sidewalk as an outdoor patio area during restaurant hours.
At least one resident expressed concern over the safety and liability of putting diners in the right-of-way, however the plan will include the City of North Tonawanda as an additional insured on Pane’s insurance coverage.
Owner James K. Pane said he plans to maintain privacy by using fences and large planters.
Ortt said the move to establish the patio is new to Pane’s, but not new to North Tonawanda and other cities.
“A lot of new restaurants have outdoor seating. Everybody wants to be outside when it’s nice,” Ortt said of the new plan at Pane’s.
“I think for [James Pane], he’s doing this as another way to compete and a way to stay competitive and we want to try and foster that anytime we can.”