AKRON, NEW YORK (December 3, 2019) – Akron Central School’s “Santa’s Helpers Band” has pushed the holiday spirit meter into the glittery red as the band, which is renowned both locally and throughout Western New York following years of holiday tours co-hosts a new event in the Akron-Newstead community.  “Light Up Akron” builds upon the community Christmases of the past with a new twilight-timed parade lit with holiday lights in every way imaginable.  A multitude of new costumed holiday characters will delight the little ones while lighted floats from various participating community organizations and the beloved Santa’s Helpers Band will escort the jolly head elf himself from Akron Central School to Russell Park in the center of the Village of Akron. The parade will begin at 4:30PM on Saturday, December 14, 2019.

     “I’m so excited to help initiate a new and exciting tradition for our community during the holiday season,” said Mr. Mark Flynn, Music Director at Akron Schools, who is responsible for the creation of the Santa’s Helpers Band fifteen years ago.  The band has enjoyed its annual tour and some notoriety as they have visited hospitals, nursing homes, retailers, the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and more locations throughout the region and are welcomed back year after year.  After all, 50-plus musicians dressed as Santa is a rather unusual spectacle!

     They have also been the featured attraction – after Mr. and Mrs. Claus, of course – at the Community Christmas event held in Akron’s Russell Park each year.
“I thought it would be great to change up the event with even more holiday spirit and excitement with a lighted parade,” he added.  Flynn, together with the Akron Community Christmas Committee and the Akron Chamber of Commerce, have come up with a spectrum of traditional and new events throughout the day on December 14th before and after the 4:30PM parade.
Organizers are hoping that many businesses and community organizations will sign up to add their lighted float or marchers to the parade.  Additionally, residents are encouraged to “Light up Akron” with holiday lights on their homes, businesses and front yards when the parade makes its way to Main Street in the village.  The Santa’s Helpers Band will then play a concert in the Russell Park gazebo while Santa Claus visits with children and members of the Akron High School Varsity Chorale sing carols at several warming barrels that will be located throughout the retail district during a moonlight shopping opportunity.

     While some of the day’s other events are still in the planning stages, it will include a Craft and Vendor Fair sponsored by the Akron PTA at the school from 10AM to 4PM, a cookie sale at the First United Methodist Church beginning at 10AM, a Chiavetta’s chicken barbeque at the concession stand in Russell Park at Noon, tours at the Rich-Twinn Octagon House and Knight-Sutton Museum from 1PM to 3PM, before the Akron Elementary Chorus begins carols at the gazebo at 4PM and Akron’s mayor lights the Community Christmas Tree just before the parade.  Whew!  There will be plenty happening in our community!

     If your business or organization is interested in helping to “Light Up Akron” in the parade, please contact Mr. Mark Flynn at or (716)542-5030 x5102.