Fun floats at Niska-Day parade

The Town of Niskayuna's residents are gearing up for the town's annual celebration, Niska-Day. For many, the highlight of their time spent there might be the food or rides, but for most, it is either watching, or participating in, the Niska-Day parade.

It really is a strong community event, said Maria Freund, chairwoman of the Niska-Day parade and a Niskayuna Town Board councilwoman.

"We do have a lot of the regulars, but we also have a couple of new bands that are going to be in it," said Freund of the attractions slated for the event.

The Studio Singers, an a capella group from Niskayuna High School, will be back after a several-year hiatus due to conflicting events on the same day.

"They'll be singing a capella the entire time on a float, which should be very interesting. Having them back is wonderful for us," said Freund.

One of the new bands that will be performing is called Snap.

"There are about 15 in that group playing more jazzy music, which will be very, very nice with the parade," said Freund.

Other parade highlights will include Marion Rhodes, Niskayuna receiver of taxes, playing keyboard with the Nisky-Dixie Cats; Doug Lohnas, who will be perched high above the crowds on the rooftop of the Niskayuna Co-op, serving as the parade's announcer; and the MacBoston 18 Truck, which will be in the parade to memorialize all the firefighters who have died in the line of duty. The truck will also be at the fairgrounds with a garrison flag flying above it and commemorative T-shirts for sale.

According to Rosemary Pyle, who is in charge of publicity for Niska-Day, one notable part of the parade will be the Aqua Duck vehicle, which will carry the descendents of Niskayuna's founding families.

"The descendents of the founders of Niskayuna are going to be on the lead float at the parade," said Pyle. "I would say that as part of the bicentennial theme [having these people] on a float together at the head of the parade would probably be the most patriotic part."

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