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CLIFTON PARK: Down by the riverside

A healthy portion of afternoon rain didn't stop visitors from enjoying a healthy portion of Giffy's chicken at Riverview Orchards on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The dinner was part of Clifton Park's first River Days. Other events included a presentation at Grooms Tavern by town historian John Scherer, a 20-mile casual bike ride along the Mohawk Towpath and bird watching at the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve.

Riverview Orchards offered apple-picking, goats and sheep petting, and free hayrides all day. From 4 to 6 p.m., Giffy's Bar-B-Q served a half chicken dinner.

Robin Dutcher is the town's assistant parks and recreation director. She helped organize the event and coordinated activities on Saturday.

We have such a beautiful spot here in Clifton Park, Dutcher said. "We need to showcase the river. People aren't necessarily aware that we have so much going on right on the Mohawk. We've tried to pick spots that have a really good vista of the river and provide opportunities for farms along the river."

On Friday, the town held a catch-and-release fishing derby along the Mohawk near the state power authority. Oliver Presson, 7, caught a 6-inch smallmouth bass and finished in second place among other children. On Saturday, Oliver got a new fishing pole as a prize.

"I used a pretend bait, and it was a golden thing and it was in the daylight so the fish could see it better," Oliver explained. "When I caught it, the fish did a tail flip."

Oliver's mother, Lorraine Calleri, heard about the event at his Cub Scout meeting.

"We like getting them outside, getting them away from technology and getting back towards nature," she said.

The town recently purchased a 6-acre riverfront property near Riverview Orchards from its owner, Isabel Prescott. Parks and Recreation Director Myla Kramer said the town hopes to have a park developed and open on the land by this time next year for River Days.

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