Upper Union Street hosts harvest fest

The 8-10 year old competition dance team dances in front of Dance Me as part of Harvest Festival on Upper Union Street in Niskayuna on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Photo: Patrick Dodson/Gazette PhotographerThe 8-10 year old competition dance team dances in front of Dance Me as part of Harvest Festival on Upper Union Street in Niskayuna on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Photo: Patrick Dodson/Gazette Photographer

BY KYLE ADAMS
Gazette Reporter

SCHENECTADY — Katie and Rachel Barkman had been working on their scarecrow routine for about a month. On Saturday, the sisters put on their best flannel, straw and face paint to dance during the Harvest Festival & Art Show on Union Street.

“It’s wonderful,” said Tricia Barkman, their mother, as they wrapped up their routine. “It’s a little chilly, but it’s fall. It’s a good, brisk fall day.”

The girls, ages 12 and 14, are students at the Dance Me studio on Union Street. They danced with a dozen or so other little scarecrows throughout the day Saturday as a cold, windy morning gave way to a more moderate afternoon and visitors slowly filled the street for autumn festivities.

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Barkman said she planned to wander around as the girls repeated their routine, to check out the apples, pumpkins, cider and cider donuts, and the other treats and sales offered by scores of upper Union Street businesses set up on the sidewalks for the day.

Nedra Newby, of Schenectady, paints the Northeastern Fine Jewelery building during Harvest Festival on Upper Union Street in Niskayuna on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Photo: Patrick Dodson/Gazette Photographer

Nedra Newby, of Schenectady, paints the Northeastern Fine Jewelery building during Harvest Festival on Upper Union Street in Niskayuna on Saturday, October 3, 2015. Photo: Patrick Dodson/Gazette Photographer

Fall, she said, is one of her favorite seasons.

“I love the fresh air, I love the smell of the wood stoves going, apple picking, baking with my kids, Thanksgiving, obviously the foliage — I love going out leaf-peeping,” she said.

Now in its 10th year, the festival celebrates the season as well as the businesses of the Upper Union neighborhood, from the dance studio and pet stores to the restaurants that represent a broad variety of international cuisine.