Accomplishments, Projects Reviewed At Annual Randolph Development Meeting

RANDOLPH — Members of the Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC) recently met at the Grace Episcopal Church fellowship hall for their annual breakfast membership meeting. They reviewed the organization’s accomplishments in 2017 and planned for the year ahead.

Executive Director Mary Heyl said the RACDC is particularly excited about several of last year’s projects including an Amish horse and buggy shelter built by Amish carpenters at the Arrow Mart parking lot. With the shelter centrally located in downtown Randolph, the structure allows easy access to the businesses, and gives the Amish community and their horses a place to get in from the weather.

“A lot of the materials were donated or came from monetary donations and were purchased at a reasonable price,” she said. “The donations for the shelter came from the board members and the Town of Randolph.”

Signage marking the discovery site of the Randolph Mammoth at the state fish hatchery, just outside of Randolph, was another big project. In 1934, workers digging a new pond at the hatchery unearthed remains of what was determined to be a Colombian mammoth; the first discovery of its kind in the region.

“Nowhere in town was there anything about Randolph’s Mammoth, until now. A person wouldn’t know anything about it, if they weren’t from here,” Heyl said. “I mean, it’s the largest mammoth discovery in New York state, and it was right here in Randolph at the fish hatchery.”

Upon state approval, RACDC is hoping to do more signage at the hatchery to identify the different types of fish raised at the facility.

Randolph’s upcoming events for 2018 are March into Randolph, the 47th annual Arts and Crafts Festival, Veteran’s Appreciation Day, and Country Christmas weekend.

Hosted by RACDC, the annual March into Randolph event will be held Saturday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Heyl said visitors will start at the Randolph Library where they will pick up a “passport” with a list of participating businesses. The more businesses they visit and have their passport initialed, the more chances they will get to enter the drawing, which will be held at Yarn for Ewe at 2 p.m.

A new location has been designated for Randolph’s Annual Arts and Crafts Festival this year. Heyl said, due to scheduled highway construction causing detours through town, the event will be held at Weeden Park on Saturday, June 16.

“The park is close to town and offers pavilions with electricity, a public restroom, playground equipment for the kids, and plenty of parking. I think it’ll be interesting and nice to have the festival in a different spot,” she said. “When you have an event that’s been going on for 47 years, you want it to stay fresh and new.”

Back again this year is the 3rd annual Veteran’s Appreciation Day and parade scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11. Heyl said last year’s parade route was different and worked out well, so the parade will follow the same route and conclude at the American Legion on Jamestown Street.

The most exciting announcement of the year is the dancers of the Expressions Performing Arts Center (EPAC) will be in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Nine days later, the EPAC dancers will host and participate in Randolph’s Country Christmas Parade held Dec. 1.

“This is huge for Randolph and it’s going to be an exciting holiday season,” Heyl said. “Our little dance studio is going to be marching in New York City.”

According to Heyl, the Country Christmas schedule will be slightly modified this year. Last year’s Memory Tree Ceremony was held Saturday night after the parade but, this year, RACDC is thinking about having the ceremony right before the parade because there’s some lag-time between the line up and when the parade starts.

The Board of Directors added several new members in 2017 including Gretchen Hind, town clerk; Leslie Disbro, New Directions Youth and Family Services; and Kaine Kelly, superintendent of schools for Randolph Central School District.

Heyl said New York state awards its Main Street grant to improve the facades of downtown businesses and restaurants. RACDC is planning to do another Main Street Grant so, if any local businesses are interested in participating, they should get in touch with her at (716) 358-9701, ext. 208 or email racdc@randolphny.net.

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