Crowds, not clouds in Niskayuna

The sun came out, and so did the people.

The 27th annual Niska-Day was held Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., and organizers said it was a huge success, despite it being held at a new location and a looming threat of bad weather.

For the first time since 2001, it wasn't cold, it didn't rain, and it didn't even snow.

Instead, there was sunshine, face painting, fireworks, rock 'n' roll, rides, food and more sun. Niska-Day co-chair Bill Leader described the event as a home run and "a grand slam," saying things couldn't have gone much better.

"We absolutely hit a home run. The fireworks were perfect and the playground for Craig [Elementary] was a hit with the little ones," Leader said. "In 2002 we had to cancel Niska-Day because of snow. In 2003, it was cold and in '04, '05, '06, '07, it rained."

This year, said Leader, was just right.

The day began with a colorful and creative parade that twisted through residential streets lined with families cheering and snapping photographs as children raced to collect candy thrown from floats and fire trucks. The parade was complete with marching bands, bagpipe players, clowns, school children, scout members, fire and police officers and politicians.

State Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, and Schenectady County Legislator Bob Farley, R-Scotia, walked side-by-side in the parade, shaking the hands of their constituents and posing for pictures along the way.

Congressional hopeful, Schenectady County Legislator James Buhrmaster, R-Glenville, also made the rounds during the Niska-Day parade, greeting spectators and joking with residents as children and teenagers zigzagged around on bicycles and scooters.

There were smiles all around.

"We always come out for Niska-Day," said Sue Colvin, who was watching the parade with her parents and three children Tyler, Ashley and Haley. "We love it."

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