We scoured the Capital Region for ways to make Father's Day memorable
Section: Scene,  Page: E1

Date: Friday, June 10, 2011

I say "father," you say what? Forefathers, the Founding Fathers, the Father of Our Country, the Godfather, the Godfather of Soul, Almighty Father, Father Figure, Father of the Bride, Sins of the Father, Father Time.

Ah, Father Time. That's one Mack Daddy none of us can escape. But with Father's Day a little over a week away, our writers are here to help you make sure your old man's holiday really pops.

You still have plenty of time to follow our suggestions for Father's Day in the 518: The best things to buy, places to go and activities to share with the guy who -- to paraphrase Bill Cosby -- brought you into this world, and can take you out.

-- C.J. Lais Jr.

Sundae on the Farm

Dad doesn't have to be even a little bit country to enjoy Father's Day on a dairy farm.

Saratoga County's 16th annual Sundae on the Farm will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at Clear Echo Farm, 800 Route 32 in Northumberland. The event, a way to showcase agriculture in Saratoga County, draws many visitors each year and includes tours, children's activities, an up-close look at the animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, music, exhibits and demonstrations by three area chefs using local products.

A spelling bee and Stewart's ice cream eating contest also will be featured. Hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream and pie will be available for purchase, with many of the menu items highlighting local products.

Call Cornell Cooperative Extension at 885-8995 or visit for more information.

-- Jennifer Gish,

Dixieland sounds

Treat dad this Father's Day to the free Albany Father's Day Concert 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at Albany's Riverfront Park.

This year's concert features the U.S. Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band, a five-man ensemble playing a mix of jazz and blues with a New Orleans feel.

The band has performed all over the U.S., including the open-air theater in Disney World and at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, as well as overseas in countries that include England and Japan.

A fireworks show follows the free performance.

More information is available from the city of Albany at

-- Samantha Bunn

Father's Day freebies

An empty wallet shouldn't be an excuse not to treat dad this upcoming Father's Day weekend. Here are some free events happening in the Capital Region:

It's all in the name. The first Celebrating Fathers event gathers poets and songwriters to perform father-focused works at the Saratoga Springs Train Station on Saturday, June 18. Nonprofit group Focus on Humanity is bringing in the Barbara Garro Saratoga Poetry & Song Focus Group for entertainment, in addition to local participants.

The 13th annual "Cruisin' on the Avenue" on Father's Day is for the dad who doubles as a car enthusiast. Walk along Mohawk Avenue between Jumpin' Jacks and Sacandaga Road in Scotia to peruse vehicles of all kinds. Spectators get in for free, but if you'd like to show off your own car, there's a $10 pre-registration fee, and a $12 registration charge.

The Children's Museum of Science and Technology is hosting dads and grandfathers for free on Father's Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

-- Sara Tracey

Cheer up dad with a growler and dinner

If your dad is a beer guy -- aren't most of them? -- surprise him with an opportunity to enjoy draft beer at home. Brew pubs and some restaurants and beverage centers will fill glass jugs, called growlers, with draft beer for dad to enjoy at home. Among the options:

Albany Pump Station, Quackenbush Square, Albany (447-9000). Heavy, 2-liter brown glass jugs with decorative metal handles and porcelain clasp stoppers are $25, or $32 filled. Refills are $9 to $11, depending on beer.

Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River St., Troy (273-2337): Heavy, 2-liter brown glass jugs with metal handles and porcelain clasp stoppers are $24, plus $9 to $11 to fill.

The City Beer Hall, Howard and Lodge streets, Albany (449-BEER): Half-gallon screw-cap glass jugs, $5 deposit. Refills, $11 to $28.

Oliver's Beverage Center, 105 Colvin Ave., Albany (459-2767), and Westmere Beverage Center, 1756 Western Ave., Guilderland (456-1100): Half-gallon screw-cap glass jugs, $2.99. Refills, $5.99 to $18.99.

Fun fact about the name: 19th-century workmen used to bring beer home from their local pub in metal pails.

The sound of carbonation gas escaping from the lid was said to sound like a growl.

Here are some additional restaurant offerings:

Ala Shanghai Chinese Cuisine in Latham is offering menus for parties of four or six for Father's Day -- Sunday, June 19 -- as well as its regular menu. Priced at about $15 per person, plus tax and tip, the special menus include appetizers, soup, four or five entrees and dessert. Ala Shanghai, located at 468 Troy-Schenectady Road, will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the holiday. Call 783-8188 for information or reservations.

The Wishing Well in Wilton will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. on Father Day, serving a three-course menu with choices for $25 per person, plus tax and tip. Call 584-7640 for reservations. The restaurant is located at 745 Saratoga Road.

Dutch Apple Cruises in Albany will be hosting a Hudson River cruise June 19 with boarding beginning at 6:30 p.m. There will be salad, carving station, pasta, passed hors d'oeuvres and cash bar. The cost is $37.95 for cruise and food. Information at Boarding at the Dutch Apple dock, next to the U-Haul building on Broadway.

Jack's Oyster House in downtown Albany will serve Father's Day dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to the regular a la carte menu, specials include broiled seafood trio and grilled New York sirloin (see them on Facebook). Call 465-8854 for reservations. Jack's is located at 42 State St.

St. Anthony's Church in Schenectady will host its 81st annual Festa on Friday through Sunday, June 17 to 19. There will be live music daily, family fun, cooking demonstrations and Italian standards including cavatelli, tripe, minestra con fagioli, calamari, sausage and peppers, pizza and abundant sweet treats. Admission is free. Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. June 17, 3 to 11 p.m. June 18, and 3 to 10 p.m. June 19. More details can be found at

-- Steve Barnes