Village readies for several summer activities
Traditional sights and sounds of summer will be on full display in the near future in Blasdell, thanks largely to the efforts of the village workforce as well as volunteer organizations.
Following up on items mentioned at the April 2 meeting, Blasdell Village Board members discussed at last Wednesday’s (April 18) meeting upcoming points of interest, including the formation of the first-ever 12-and-under travel baseball team representing Blasdell, a squad that will play home games at JFK Playground against various teams from across the area.
Trustee Rob Hefner credited the village’s Department of Public Works for getting the clay ball diamonds ready for action, as the baseball team opens its home season on Saturday, May 5.
In addition, another first, which includes two girls fast-pitch softball teams being introduced in the village, will feature the youth squads, named the Dazzlers and New Era Diamond Girls, playing home games through June at Fireman’s Park.
In related activity, Trustee Kathy Seufert King announced that a 3-on-3, male and female basketball tournament is taking place on Saturday, June 2 at JFK Playground. Ages for interested participants in the double-elimination tournament range from 10 to 40, with a cost of $45 for youths and $50 for adults.
It is believed to be the first such hoops tournament in the village since 2008, with the event featuring T-shirts for participants, including separate T-shirts for the winning teams.
Those wanting to play in the tournament or set up teams can call village hall at 822-1921.
It was stated that planning for an outdoor street hockey tournament is underway, with the event taking place at some point over summer and likely occurring at JFK Playground. The brainstorming process for this event has gone on for several years, with Blasdell’s liability being a main source for the delay.
The village’s annual summer concert series at JFK Playground will once again be taking place on Wednesday evenings, beginning June 13 with country music band Common Ground’s performance.
A diverse selection of musical genre follows, with the concert series concluding Aug. 8 with Buffalo Touch, which is a three-time Grammy nominee party Polka band.
The cost to Blasdell in funding such band performances totals about $4,100, and it was stated that $3,100 will be donated by the Blasdell Business Association and A Better Blasdell, both village volunteer organizations, toward the expenses, with the BBA contributing $2,600 and ABB, $500.
The combined monies were presented in a $3,100 check to the village. It was stated at a recent village board meeting that Blasdell officials had budgeted $2,000 toward the 2012 concert series.
Recent years have seemed to generate a renewed level of local interest in the concert series, which has been taking place in the village for more than two decades.
The BBA in 2011 donated $2,200 toward the series, following a prior slashing of funds toward the event from the Arts Council of Buffalo and Erie County.
The village’s Summer Concert Committee, comprised of a mix of about a dozen individuals from the BBA, ABB and local citizens, had again worked in researching and planning bands for the concert series, obtaining literature and attending performances by bands that were thought to be suitable for Blasdell resident observance.
The village board then reviewed the findings and suggestions put forward by the committee.
Seeking a local connection with bands each year as part of the concert series is said to be another key planning element.
Forever Young, a Southtowns-based rock band, is performing at JFK on June 27.
In addition to the musical entertainment, a range of refreshments and other enjoyment are available to those in attendance at the concert series.
Village eatery Rocko’s Tacos will once again be featuring its popular cuisine, to go along with local Cub Scout Troop 147 participating in serving ice cream.
A new, local food vendor will be on hand this summer at the series, as A.L.’s Bakery, located on South Park Avenue, will present goodies for those possessing a sweet tooth. A.L.’s features large cookies, pastry hearts and other tasty carry away items.
The ABB is also taking part in the local area cleanup, scheduled for May 5 and involving members of the Village of Blasdell, Village of Hamburg and Town of Hamburg.
In addition, a village-wide garage sale on Saturday, May 19 will include the ABB’s participation, as 30 to 50 featured residences will be targeted for local action. On June 9, the ABB (A Better Blasdell) BBQ will take place at Fireman’s Field, as food will be provided by BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue.
Live music will also be featured at the event, as local tribute band BackBeat 64, featuring local resident and lead guitarist Don Daley, will be performing. It has been stated that as part of budget constraints, Family Fun Day, which was a popular day-long event in summer of 2011, will be eliminated.
The next meeting of the Blasdell Village Board will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2 at the Village Municipal Building.