On Saturday, Cute W and I headed to Central Park for the second-ever NipperFest Music and Arts Festival. Mark your calendars for next year, people, because I think this festival is going to just keep getting better and better every year.

What’s so fantastic, for us, is that it’s in Schenectady’s Central Park, a convenient bike ride away, so we can show up in the most casual manner.

Last year, I was vaguely aware that there would be music in the park, so I biked over to check it out. Hours later, after getting my text report, Cute W came to join me. They’ve got two stages going at NipperFest, providing continuous music, which means it’s hard to tear yourself away! Of course the Music Haven stage is the main stage, and last year, they set up a second stage in the Isabella Pavilion nearby.

This year, the second stage had moved outside under the trees near where the old playground used to be, so it was shady and dotted with picnic tables. For 2023, they called the pavilion The Barn because it was the site of an arts and craft show sponsored by the Electric City Barn and Albany Barn. They also had a bunch of food trucks parked on that road between the playground and the (currently out of commission) pool, and you could get cider and beer, too.

I have to confess that even though I enjoyed myself last year, I had completely forgotten about NipperFest this year. Cute W and I were chilling on our patio after a productive morning jam-packed with useful tasks when something on his phone reminded him. Luckily, it’s super-easy for us to hop on our bikes and go check it out. We ended up staying, and since they’ve got food trucks, that was dinner, too!

The weather was fantastic, and we heard some great music. We liked some bands better than others, of course, but if somebody’s jam wasn’t your jam, that provided the opportunity to go and get some food or look at the art. And it’s a celebration of all things local, so the whole of NipperFest has a very chill, neighborly community vibe, which I love.

We ended up staying through to the last act.

Luckily, our bikes have headlamps!

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