Lewiston Meeting Gives Residents A Chance To Air Complaints About Summer Concerts

October 4, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 11:37 PM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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October 4, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 11:37 PM EDT


VILLAGE OF LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) -- What if they gave free concerts every Tuesday and Wednesday night, all summer long, and they became so successful that some people began calling for them to end? That's exactly what has happened in the Village of Lewiston....when it comes to Artpark. Through out the summer, free events at Artpark, bring out crowds of thousands of people. For some, that's a great thing...but for others, it means a tough time.

Village residents and business owners met with local officials Tuesday night to discuss the positives and negatives of having a huge state park inside the tiny village. Large free events, like the Tuesday in the park concerts mean that parked cars and big crowds spill out onto the small village streets. People living near the park complain about noise, public drinking and traffic problems.

"The thought of 30 thousand people in Lewiston for three hours on a given night is reckless at best," one man stated. Profits from free concerts give the park most of it's operating money. Artpark's operators have received grant money that will allow them to add fences and make other improvements to the amphitheater area that will help control crowds .

Some business owners complain that business drops off during big events...but the crowds mean more customers for some others. The village has to cover the cost for added police services. Officials pledge to continue to minimize problems for those living in the area.