Thursday, January 30, 2020

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival – Ten Days of Winter Fun

There is no time for the winter doldrums with the Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival just around the corner. This festival of fun, January 31-February 9, is a must for Adirondack residents and visitors alike.  First started in 1897, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival history is as vast and varied as the community that has shaped it. Originally a one-day event, this celebration of winter has evolved to include an expansive ice palace and over 100 events and activities.

According to Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee Public Relations Chair Colleen O’Neill, the festival is a special time for everyone. The Carnival provides entertainment for visitors and locals alike and pulls the surrounding communities together.

This year’s theme is Myths and Legends and there is a full schedule of events. From art exhibits and performing arts to traditional and nontraditional winter sports, the streets of Saranac Lake will soon be filled with mythical and legendary creatures and creations. There are plenty of free activities, but some events do charge a small fee. Waivers and registrations forms are also required for some competitions, vendors, and participants.

“We’ve brought back a new event, the Icicle Contest,” says O’Neill. “Whoever brings in the longest measuring icicle can win. There will be a bunch of prizes. It’s fun and easy and good for all age ranges. We also have big events like the opening fireworks and the lighting of the palace and unique activities like Arctic golf, which is mini-golf in snow. The Ladies Fry Pan Toss is a huge crowd pleaser and there are so many other options on the schedule. We allow anyone in the community to list their events as part of the schedule so there are tons of activities all focusing on the same theme.”

New screenings of the documentary, Ice Palace: A Love Letter are still being added to the schedule. Currently, tickets are still available for the February 1st show at the Lake Placid Palace Theatre, February 2nd show at the Hotel Saranac, and February 8-9 show at Historic Trudeau Auditorium.

O’Neill has been also been keeping track of the temperature and thinks the weather is going to be perfect throughout the 10-day event. She says there is plenty of new snow for all the various activities.  She is expecting consistent milder temperatures during the day to make it fun to participate in the outdoor events, but cold enough at night to maintain the ice palace. With Myths and Legends taking over Saranac Lake and over 100 activities there is definitely something for everyone.

Photo of 2020 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace provided by Diane Chase,  To see more pictures of Ice Palaces from the last 30 years, follow local photographer Mark Kurtz.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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