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Niska-Day extols town's big birthday

She said that she thought that inviting them to sit on the float with Ed Reilly, who will be pointing out historical facts about the town throughout the parade, would "be a good way to tie in the theme the 200th anniversary celebration."

Other activities families can look forward to include an expanded food court with longer hours of operation, including access to Giffy's barbecued chicken all day.

This year also marks the 200th anniversary of Schenectady County.

"There will be a tent designated just to history, and there will be some talks and different things going on about the history of Niskayuna," said Leader.

Other activities at Niska-Day include karaoke, which will go until 6 p.m. when the fireworks start; a craft tent, which will be open until 7 p.m.; and caricatures, which will be done from noon until 7 p.m.

"We'll have bands and rides and entertainers and jugglers and face painters and all sorts of things," said Town of Niskayuna Councilwoman Maria Freund, who is also chairwoman of the parade.

Other amenities guests can expect include shuttle service from Craig School to St. Helen's for those who are participating in the parade, or St. James Square to watch the parade. The shuttle bus will begin running at 8:30 a.m., stopping at St. James and St. Helen's. When the parade reaches St. James Square, shuttle busses will begin making return trips to Craig School. Parking is available on and around school grounds.

"We hope for the best. If the weather is good it's an even better Niska-Day. If the sun is shining and the community is out in force it's always a good [day]," said Leader.

"It's the one day where people get together and get to see neighbors and friends that they don't always see and that's been holding true for the 28," said Leader.

For more information, visit www.niskaday.org.

The Spotlight is a sponsor of Niska-Day 2009 and will publish a special Niska-Day supplement in the May 14 edition of The Niskayuna Spotlight. The supplement will also be available at the event.""

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