Since 1956 Raquette Lake has been celebrating winter with its hometown charm. High on community involvement, the 64th Raquette Lake Winter Carnival is the place to be for two days filled with winter fun and strangers and neighbors all welcomed into the fold.
According to The Town of Long Lake Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Alexandra Roalsvig, the annual winter celebration does not attract masses of people. It is a throwback to “olden days” where kids play outside while parents sit near a bonfire overlooking the lake.
“This carnival is always what the people make of it,” says Roalsvig. “We hope it’s about meeting new people and seeing familiar faces. It’s about wholesome fun and outside games like sledding or an obstacle course.”
Roalsvig reiterates that the activities are centralized around downtown Raquette Lake, near the library. Chris and Pete Amusements will perform a free magic show at the library while women vie for cash prizes during the Raquette Lake Ladies Auxiliary frying pan toss. She also wants to make sure that people look for The Chazen Companies who will be distributing surveys for the comprehensive planning process for Raquette Lake and Long Lake.
“The surveys will be distributed mostly to year-round residents and second homeowners,” Roalsvig said. “The Chazen Company will want to hear from as many people as possible about why they are in Raquette Lake and what they would like to see in the future. Everything is relevant.”
The winter carnival always takes place over Presidents’ Weekend. An added bonus is that the Raquette Lake Supply Company has decided to hold its Ice Job on the same weekend. The Ice Job is a volunteer-run ice harvest that brings back a time when blocks of ice were used to refrigerate and cool in the summer months. Blocks are hand-cut and moved from the lake by a conveyer belt and into the ice shed of the Raquette Lake Supply Company.
“Saturday evening there will be fireworks overlooking the lake,” Roalsvig said. “There are so many places to watch the fireworks so people don’t have to worry about space. Then the next day [Sunday] will bring a cross-cut and chainsaw competition. There will be logs available so people can test their skills with the large two-person saws. After that there is a chainsaw competition where people must bring their own equipment.”
“The Raquette Lake Winter Carnival schedule runs from February 15-16 at the village green,” she said. “Since this is an outdoor event, most activities are weather dependent and the forecast looks great. Please check the schedule of additions and updates to the schedule.”