Jay Rourke, the entertainment chair for Niska Day, gave Town Board members an idea Tuesday night of what this year’s Niska Day will be like.
He did so by telling them. And by showing them.
“The theme this year is Vegas,” Rourke told the board, “So expect to see some magicians and jugglers and stilt walkers and ventriloquists — plenty of bands, as well.
“And,” he added, “it just wouldn’t be Vegas without The King in the house.”
With that, Elvis impersonator Donny Romines of Schenectady entered the chamber to applause, offering a couple of classic Elvis song lines and even giving Town Board member Denise Murphy McGraw a red scarf, which she wore the rest of the meeting.
Romines, as Elvis, is to be grand marshal of the Niska Day parade, set this year for Saturday, May 18, on the grounds of Craig Elementary School. The parade is to start at 10 a.m. and go from St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church (formerly St. Helen’s) to the Niskayuna High School parking lot.
“If this is any indication of what the parade and everything is going to be like — 32 years — you’re going to outdo yourself this year,” board member Liz Orzel Kasper said.
After Elvis left the building, the rest of the Town Board meeting was held. The board approved its annual contribution to the Niska Day fireworks, an amount not to exceed $7,000.
Niska Day is sponsored each year by the Niskayuna Community Action Program.
In non-Elvis-related board action Tuesday night, it approved a new name for the approximately 25-acre park that the town accepted four years ago adjacent to the Woodlawn Preserve. The new park is now called the “Rachel Carson Nature Preserve,” in honor of the late conservationist and author of the influential book “Silent Spring.”
The town accepted the land in 2009 from Schenectady County. It is located toward the end of Stanford and Midland avenues.
The board also voted to hire an engineering firm to provide consulting work for the town’s comprehensive plan committee at a cost not to exceed $2,500. The committee has been working on a new comprehensive plan and hopes to have a new 10-year plan by the end of the year.
The board also voted to purchase a lift for the town pool to allow access for persons with disabilities. The lift is to cost no more than $6,500 and allow the town to comply with new federal regulations on accessibility.