NISKAYUNA — A holiday parade with a charitable twist is set to make its way through Niskayuna when the second annual Adopt-a-Family Holiday Parade takes place this weekend.
The procession will include a Santa drive-by, as the Niskayuna Fire District #1 and the Niskayuna Police Department will escort Kris Kringle along the parade route, which begins at Mohawk Golf Club at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Donations for the Adopt-a-Family program will be accepted along the parade route, as the Niskayuna Central School District is seeking holiday gifts for pre-teen and teen students in need.
The Saturday morning parade will mark the second year the event has taken place after last year’s inaugural edition.
Niskayuna Town Board member Jessica Brennan, who works as a social worker for the school district, said the Fire Department reached out to the district in 2021 hoping to collaborate on a charitable holiday event.
Brennan also serves as the president of Nisky NOW, a program that provides weekly food deliveries to families of students in need.
“The Fire Department reached out to me last year because they wanted to do something to give back to the community,” Brennan said. “They were thinking of a parade for Nisky NOW and I never want to turn anything down for Nisky NOW, because we’re always looking for support. But as a school social worker, we were having a crisis for our Adopt-a-Family program on the middle school and high school levels.”
Brennan said the district is in need of donations for middle and high school students, with the Santa Drive-By now filling the gap by collecting donations for those students along the parade route.
“We told them [the Fire Department] that what we really need is help with our middle school and high school Adopt-a-Family drive,” she explained. “Because we could not cover the needs last year and it was kind of coming down to the wire. So we switched gears and advertised that we were looking for donations along the parade route for middle and high school aged students.”
The district is seeking items such as art kits, scarves and Target gift cards.
Students representatives from Nisky NOW dressed as elves during last year’s parade and collected the donated gifts along the parade route.
“It ended up being a huge success,” Brennan said. “The social workers went through this huge bounty of gifts that were for the middle and high school level and divided them all up.”
Residents interested in donating gifts can bring them to the parade on Saturday or can drop them off any time during school hours in the Rosendale Elementary School lobby.
Brennan said the Broken Inn restaurant has also reached out to the parade organizers for a potential post-parade event at the Nott Street eatery.
The parade will see Santa Claus waving to children along the route while holiday music plays, with the promenade slated to wind its way through eight miles before ending at Via Del Mar at approximately 11:15 a.m.
“It’s just another example of our community working together to meet a need,” Brennan said.