Written by John Face
Photos supplied by Walk the Beat Albion
August 20, 2022
Cliff Harris is excited that’s for sure. We sat down at Stoffer Plaza during the last of the Walk the Beat Summer Concert Series on Wednesday to talk about the upcoming yearly event, Walk the Beat Albion. On Saturday August 27 starting at 1:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. what you will see and hear is around 30 bands performing on the sidewalks of downtown Albion and up Michigan Ave.
Walk the Beat (WTB) got its start in Grand Haven Michigan, and it would be after a 2013 visit to that event by the invitation of the Kershaw family that the idea came about, “hey we could do this in Albion”, Harris said. On the way home he called his wife Karen and said this is perfect for Albion. I asked him why exactly did you decide to start Walk the Beat Albion? “I think I am a logical person”, Harris said. He went on to say, “once I saw what WTB was about, which is raising money for instruments and music lessons for kids, I knew on a gut level, I knew this was a good idea”.
One of the biggest things about WTB was its music. “Music connects all of Albion, no matter who we are we all love music” he said. “Everyone can get involved in WTB, whether you can play an instrument, sing or listen”.
So, he began to work on getting sponsors and permission and venues, and in October of 2016 Albion had its first WTB. He has been blessed with great volunteers and students from Albion College. This year he hired a student, Brielle Ford, to act as WTB Assistant Director. She has been my right hand, WTB this year would not be where it’s at without her.
I spoke with Brielle, Cliff had to take her away from her work for the concert going on in the background. Cliff told me she worked hard this summer while he was away attending conferences for work. Brielle said she was starting her Junior year at Albion College in a couple weeks
When I asked what it has meant to be working for WTB this year, she said, “I have been very grateful and blessed for the work experience. I have been able to grow and get real experience”. Her goal is to go into business, connected to music. I asked what her best memory was. She said, “well last year going to Grand Haven and actually learning how to run Walk the Beat.
Walk the Beat will occur on Saturday August 27, 2022, from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. There will be raffles for the public that include items or cash. You the public will walk around listening to the different groups and you can vote for your favorite band. The bands get special gifts as well so it’s important for you to participate in voting.