Good weather helps, but the best way to draw families to a town-wide gathering is free eats.
On Sunday, Aug. 12, the town of Milton hosted its annual Family Fun Day in the Burgess-Kimball Memorial Park. For the kids, there were pony rides, two inflatable bounce huts, a petting zoo, and a clown making hats out of balloons. Union Fire Company in Ballston Spa brought out their ladder truck for boys and girls to clamber on and pretend to race to fires. An enormous American flag waved in the breeze at the tip of the ladder.
I want to be a fireman when I grow up, said Stephen Bowers, who spent about 30 minutes behind the wheel.
Many children sought shelter from the bright afternoon sunshine inside a teepee, where they sat on bamboo mats and pretended to make fires from bits of kindling. Others spent the day on slides and swings in the popular park, which was expanded this summer to include more play equipment.
Adults swayed to music, danced the polka and joined in the Hokey Pokey played by a disc jockey.
By far the most popular attraction, and the reason many lingered for the entire event, which ran from noon to 5 p.m., was the free Sno-cone and cotton candy stand. The icy treats melted quickly, but then people got right back in line to sample cherry, lime, grape or blue raspberry.
"Most people just want a rainbow," said Chris Pastore, who was also running the cotton candy machine.
The pink whisps were so fresh, they were still warm as they were rolled onto cones.
"This party gets bigger every year, and next year we're thinking of adding a carnival," said town supervisor Frank Thompson. "There's nothing better than seeing families come out and enjoy themselves."