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BALLSTON SPA: Party ends with a parade

"I think this was faster than the one at the fair," said Dylan Doherty, 14, of Milton after exiting the Cliffhanger, a ride that simulated skydiving. "I almost fell over when I got off."

The day included old-fashioned favorites like the sack race and pie-eating contest, along with modern day jugglers, face painters, magicians and a reptile show with live baby crocodiles. Hundreds filled the front portion of the fairgrounds; cases of soda and water were slurped up; pounds of hamburgers were grilled and mountains of cotton candy disappeared into sticky mouths.

Even more people poured through the gates at nightfall for what was billed as the Capital District's largest fireworks display in years. The sky show was funded in part by a member line item from Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco, R-Schenectady, who arrived from a Saratoga fundraising dinner in a formal suit to sit on a folding chair in the middle of the enormous crowd. The half-hour nonstop display included fireworks with parachutes and a blazing birthday cake spelling out "Happy Birthday Ballston Spa."

"This was a fitting end to our celebration," said Village Mayor John Romano. "But we may just plan one more event in the fall before the bicentennial year ends. We'll see how much energy the volunteers have left in them.""

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