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Lancaster day-long band event raises concerns over late hours

An event to call awareness to drugs features seven bands, which is causing a stir among town officials because the event would run late into the evening in a residential neighborhood.

Billed as “The Big Event” and featuring games and bands, it is planned for the Lancaster Town Youth Bureau at 200 Oxford Ave on Sept. 17.

The event, sponsored by the Lancaster Lions Club, would run all day – from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. – and would use the youth bureau’s outdoor band shell.

Debate over how late the bands should be allowed to play sparked friction at the end of Town Board meeting Tuesday when Kimberly Stribing said that the last band would be allowed to begin performing at 8:30 p.m. and have the event wrapped up by 10 p.m.

But Youth Bureau Executive Director John Trojanowsky was opposed to the late hour to end the music and said it should end by no later than 9. Most events, such as outdoor summer concerts, end by 8:30 p.m. and 9 at the latest, he said.

“We want to see this event be successful. Nobody is objecting to the activity,” Trojanowsky said.

“It’s an outside event and we don’t want it to come between neighbors with loud music late at night,” Trojanowsky said.

He suggested the bands could begin playing earlier in the day. Plus, he noted there is no outdoor lighting.

“I don’t know how they’ll pull it off,” he said.

The issue came to a head late last week, when word of it was relayed to Town Supervisor Johanna M. Coleman, who is agreeing to meet with Lions Club officials.

Stribing, a Lions Club member, was adamant about letting the live music play past 9 p.m.

“I think this is very important. I am begging you,” she told the Town Board, noting that one of her son’s close friends died of a heroin overdose. “This is a big thing for our community. I really am asking you to make the right choice. This is up to John Trojanowsky?”

Stribing said the event would be family-friendly with no alcohol and promised it would be “a clean, safe event for our community.”

“Give the youth a chance,” she said.

The town’s noise ordinance runs until 11 p.m. for such things as home parties and there are exceptions for permits governing different activities like the Lancaster Speedway.

Councilman Matthew Walter said he thought the organization had earlier agreed with the town to a compromise to have music done by 9 p.m. “If it were in the middle of the village, it would work out well,” he said. “This (band area) is beautiful, but it is densely populated.”

Coleman said she had “very limited knowledge” of the event. “You told me you’d have it downtown in the Save-A-Lot Store area,” she said of an earlier e-mail she’d received from the organization. “I didn’t know about the Youth Bureau location until late (last) Thursday.”

Email: krobinson@buffnews.com

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