Capital Holiday Lights to shine in Altamont in 2023

— Photo from
The drive-through light show, held since 1997 in Albany’s Washington Park, to raise funds for Albany Police youth programs, is slated to come to the Altamont fairgrounds in 2023.

Capital Holiday Lights — a popular Christmas time fundraiser for the Albany Police Athletic Association — will come to the Altamont fairgrounds next year.

The drive-through light show, which had been held since 1997 in Albany’s Washington Park, was unpopular with nearby residents who disliked the weeks of traffic. Organizers estimated more than two million people have visited the display over the years.

The league on Thursday announced an informal agreement with Albany County and the Altamont Fair to present the show in November 2023 at the fairgrounds.

No show will be presented this year; rather, a video of past shows will be available online at, running from Nov. 25 to Jan. 2.

A new location was hard to find, according to a Thursday release from the league, citing infrastructure needs, such as electric, roadways, and aesthetics and meeting vendor and parking needs.

The fairgrounds, located in the village of Altamont, gets its heaviest use once a year for a week in August for the tri-county Altamont Fair but has hosted other events throughout the year, including a drive-through Halloween display and a drive-through dinosaur display.

Proceeds from this annual event support PAL programs for local youth.

“We couldn’t let a year go by without a lights show for everyone to enjoy,” said Sgt. (Ret.) Leonard Ricchiuti in the release, “so just as families ordered pizza and came in their pajamas before, we’re inviting them to still do that in front of their televisions and keep the spirit of the lights lit while we await a new home for the show. Everything we’ve done for the last 25 years will need to be rerouted, refreshed, and renewed to provide the best holiday experience for all.”

“We are looking forward to finalizing an agreement to be the new location for the Capital Holiday Lights show,” said Amy Anderson, manager of the Altamont Fair, in the release. “We understand what this beloved show means to the thousands of Capital Region residents who come annually, and we anxiously await the opportunities it will bring to Altamont.”

“The Altamont fairgrounds provides a lot of opportunity for growth and expansion of the show, and what we can offer patrons to enjoy a wholesome holiday event,” said David Bauer, PAL Board Chair, in the release. “We are so thankful to PAL’s Board, and the Altamont Fair Board for having productive conversations to get to this point. We are also truly thankful to Price Chopper/Market 32 for helping us to get started. The children of Albany truly deserve everything we can offer them, and the continuation of the Capital Holiday Lights show makes that all possible.”

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