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Imagine:Hamburg warms up the village with a ‘Winter Blast!’

THE HOUSE IS GROOVING — Briar Hill Band performed for last year’s Imagine:Hamburg “Winter Blast!” at the Knights of Columbus of Hamburg. Photo submitted by Dale Neseman.
HAMBURG — The temperature may be below freezing, but the tacos will be hot and the bar will be open for Imagine:Hamburg’s “Winter Blast!” fundraising event on Feb. 22 at the Coyote Cafe.

A ticket to the event will include an open bar, a taco bar, coffee and dessert. In addition, a lottery ticket raffle and a 50/50 split raffle will also be available.

“It’ll just be a lot of fun,” said Dale Neseman, chairman of Imagine:Hamburg.

This Imagine:Hamburg initiative began in 2001, originally as the committee in charge of the Route 62 reconstruction. After convincing the department of transportation that roundabouts would be beneficial for the area, Neseman said the group decided to stay together to “see what else we do for the community.”

Based on the group’s stated endeavor of improving and growing Hamburg, the village alleyways were reconstructed and archway entries were added. The group’s latest project is a trolly stop located on the corner of Legion Drive and Clark Street.

Imagine:Hamburg is also in the process of creating a video for the village, which will be given to realtors, websites and, according to Neseman, “anyone who’s interested in Hamburg village life and why it’s nice to live here; why we enjoy living here.” The video is projected to be completed this spring.

Neseman said that events thrown by Imagine:Hamburg, such as the “Winter Blast!,” help to fund village-centered projects.

“Every cent that we fundraise goes back to the community, one way or another,” he added. “The money we collect goes back ... for the good of the community.”

In the past, Neseman said the committee has involved multiple local restaurants for food donations, but said this year’s “Winter Blast!” will be different. Coyote Cafe will be the sole participant.

Briar Hill Band, in which Neseman plays rhythm guitar and vocals, will perform, as the group did at last year’s event, held at the Knights of Columbus on Pierce Avenue in Hamburg. The band originally began playing specifically ‘60s tunes, but has expanded and now covers the following decades and even “some Tragically Hip stuff,” Neseman said.

“[The event] is usually pretty well-attended, because it’s a good time and a fun thing to do in the middle of winter,” Neseman said, adding that he expects approximately 100 – 150 attendees.

“Last year’s ‘Winter Blast!’ was at the Knights of Columbus, with the menu showcasing village eateries,” said Chris Snyder, a member of Imagine:Hamburg. “We wanted to so something different with this year’s event to keep it interesting, so we are having it at Coyote Cafe, with Mexican-themed finger foods and our signature Imagine:Hamburg dessert buffet.

“If you like rock and roll music, dancing, good food and drinks, lots of raffles, all in the company of friends and neighbors and all benefiting our village, this fundraiser is for you,” she added. “Who doesn’t need a night out, in the dead of winter?”

The Imagine:Hamburg “Winter Blast!” will be held from 8 – 11 p.m. at the Coyote Cafe, located at 36 Main St. in Hamburg.

For ticket information, call 648-7369.

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