Saturday marks 40th Niska Day

This file photo shows the festivities at the 2018 Niska Day Parade getting underway at Regent and Nott streets in Niskayuna.

This file photo shows the festivities at the 2018 Niska Day Parade getting underway at Regent and Nott streets in Niskayuna.

Niskayuna residents are encouraged to turn out for the 40th annual celebration of Niska Day by the Niskayuna Community Action Program (N-CAP).

Last year’s Niska Day festivities were canceled due to the pandemic. Ongoing COVID-19 concerns then prompted organizers to postpone this year’s edition from the spring until this month, with a scaled-down list of events. However, the parade and fun activities for all ages will be back.

N-CAP was formed in the 1980s after there was a report to the community about mental health needs in the school district, according to the event’s website. After hearing from residents that the community needed an identity, Niska Day was created to celebrate the community and everyone in it.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening at this year’s event:

There will only be one smaller-sized parade this year through Old Niskayuna. Floats and vehicles will be in the parade, but it will feature no marchers.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. on Story Avenue near Van Antwerp Middle School. From there, the parade will go down Story Avenue to Regent Street. From Regent Street, the parade participants will head to Almeria Road, then down Barcelona Road to Alton Street and then end on Dexter Street.

Unlike past years, there will be a break lasting a few hours between the parade and the festivities beginning around 4:30 p.m. at the Craig School fields. People should bring their own chairs and blankets to relax in the grass.

First, for when people arrive, parking can be found at the following locations:

  • Medical Arts (Capital Care) adjacent to Craig School
  • Chinese Fellowship Bible Church at 2530 Balltown Road (adjacent to the Medical Arts building)
  • The Soccer Complex lot off Balltown Road
  • Care Net (2123 River Road)
  • River Road Animal Hospital (2121 River Road)
  • Behind the new Medical Office Building (2125 River Road)
  • Jewish Community Center (2565 Balltown Road)

Once a parking spot has been secured. Here is what to expect at the Craig School fields:

Schedule of events:

  • 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. – The Puppet People will perform in the Entertainment Tent.
  • 5 to 7 p.m. – Sparkles the Stilt Walking Clown will show off her juggling skills.
  • 6 to 8:45 p.m. – TS Ensemble will have people dancing and singing along with both classics and newer pop hits.
  • 8:30 p.m. (approximately) – Fireworks

The food and drink vendors include:

  • Mike’s Hot Dogs
  • Guido’s Frozen Desserts
  • Colby’s Kettle Corn & Butler’s Loaded Baked Potatoes
  • Hawaiian Shaved Ice
  • Niskayuna Democratic Committee
  • The Mason Jar
  • Storied Coffee & Milk Teas
  • Zack’s Shack

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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