Almanack Contributor Diane Chase

Diane Chase

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.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Last Farm 2 Fork Festival in Saranac Lake Saturday

IMG_5392According to Adirondack Green Circle and Farm 2 Fork Founder Gail Brill “All good things come to an end.” In its seventh and final year, the festival that connected people to regional farmers through local food using traditional recipes and techniques will go out with a bang. For anyone knowing Brill and her passion for local food, “over” just means reinventing.

This year’s Farm 2 Fork Festival, a collaboration between the Adirondack Green Circle and Ausable Valley Grange, is bringing local food under the Big Top. This year’s circus themed festival continues to celebrate local food and farmers with other fun activities. In addition to the tasting ticket, there will be stilt walkers, face-painters, live music with Slow Pony and even a dunk booth. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Adirondack Families: The Adirondack Museum’s 59th Season

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Now in its 59th season, the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake continues to showcase outstanding Adirondack exhibits, special exhibitions and events.

The layout of the museum is perfect for letting children explore a bit on their own. We always take the prerequisite family photo in the oversized Adirondack chair. Once inside the grounds my children still rush off to the Reising One Room Schoolhouse to play games and make projects. I believe it is the only time that my son has willingly done laundry. It’s difficult to choose my favorite spots though I always make time to visit The Great Outdoors and the Marion River Pavilion exhibits. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Budweiser Clydesdales Visiting Lake George

Full_Week_ScheduleMy family has seen the Budweiser Clydesdales during trips to Rhode Island and they really are a magnificent sight to see. With all the times that I’ve seen them in various parades however, I never knew about the the visiting Clydesdales’ other events. I’ve missed the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to get a eight-horse team of workhorses parade ready.

According to Saratoga Eagle’s Community Relations and Marketing Manager Jennifer Allen, Anheuser-Busch distributors request the hitch for special occasions and they were last here more than seven years ago. This visit will highlight the week of events during the 50th Anniversary of Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

259th Anniversary Fort William Henry Surrender

Soldiers-lined-upEach year the Surrender of Fort William Henry is honored by a wreath laying ceremony, a reenactment and the reading of the official Articles of Surrender on the museum’s lawn overlooking Lake George.  According to Fort William Henry Museum Director Melody Viele, this annual anniversary focuses on the importance of the French and Indian War.

“The Colonies learned to fight during the French and Indian War,” says Viele. “It was the first event to unite the colonists. They joined together to fight the French. Later the British tried to recoup their expenses through taxes, which inadvertently led to the Revolutionary War.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Boquet River Theatre Festival Kicks Off Essex Day

238ff6_0c083b8b742c5fcd5657efefcf4768adChildren’s theatre can conjure up images of school recitals and awkward dances. For those of us visiting and living in the Adirondacks, there are many professional theatrical organizations lending their own brand of polish to provide a wonderful theatre experience.

Most recently Camp Pendragon Theatre wrapped up its summer camp program with two public performances of the musical Rags while the Depot Theatre’s Young Actor Apprentice Program‘s production of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit takes its final bow on August 10th at the Elizabethtown Community Center.  This weekend the Boquet River Theatre Festival is kicking off its 23rd season  with a musical montage of its most recent performances. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market Kids Day Saturday

PlattsburghFamersKidsDayFive years ago Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market co-manager Bonnie Gonyo started the annual Kids Day as a way to introduce the local farmer market to visitors and area residents. The event has grown bigger and better each year, adding activities and giveaways for children of all ages.

“This is our fifth anniversary so we have some special things planned,” says Gonyo. “I start planning this event in February. It takes time because we bring in a variety of organizations from the Girls Scouts to Mountain Lake PBS. This year we have a little 5th anniversary tote bag for the kids. It was illustrated by Speedy Arnold who also plays the guitar and writes his own music. I’m so excited to see those dancing veggies on the tote bag.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Visiting The Lake George Association Floating Classroom

GroupofkidswithnewlifejacketsThe Lake George Association (LGA) continues its on-water educational programing through the summer with public tours each Wednesday in July and August.

In 2009, the 40-ft catamaran-style Rosalia Anna Ashby, named for LGA member Bruce Ashby’s mother, was built specifically to further the on-water aspect of the  Lake George Association’s educational programming. The Floating classroom’s two-hour tour covers a variety of topics from earthquakes and glaciers to storm water and invasive species. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Adirondack Film Society Screening Series In Schroon Lake

unspecifiedFor the first time, the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) has partnered with the Strand Theatre to bring special curated screenings to the Schroon Lake. With a mission to advance the art and appreciation of film and filmmaking in the Adirondack Region, AFS welcomed the opportunity to be the nonprofit conduit for the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) grant funding the Strand Theatre’s digital film upgrade.

Known primarily for the annual Lake Placid Film Forum and “Mostly Monthly Adirondack Film Society Screening Series,” AFS now brings two summer events to the Strand’s digital screen, July 16-17 and August 13-14.

According to AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzak the July 16-17 event present a pairing of two classic films with the brilliance of author John DiLeo’s expertise on films. AFS doesn’t just present films, they are known for bringing experts in the film industry, directors and other industry professionals attached to the project. DiLeo will introduce the film each night along with a special performances of “Bloopers, Secrets, and Surprises from Hollywood’s Golden Age,” and “Great Film Performances You Should Remember But Probably Don’t.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blacksmith Demonstrations And More At Adirondack Folk School

blacksmith_AdkFolkSchoolOnce again the Adirondack Folk School is hosting evening blacksmithing demonstrations at its Lake Luzerne school in addition to all its other traditional Adirondack art classes.

Since its founding in 2010, the Adirondack Folk School has provided artisan classes with the core idea to keep Adirondack crafts alive.

My family was fortunate to be able to attend one of the free evening blacksmithing demonstrations years ago. At that time the pavilion and blacksmith forge were new. The opportunity allowed us to watch Blacksmith Steve Gurzler create beautiful forged objects while teaching his students. Gurzler is once again back for the Open Forge Nights. The monthly events take place on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. Bring a picnic or just stop by to watch. For those wishing to learn the art of blacksmithing there is a $20 materials fee. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Goose Drive at Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area

Geese - Diane Chase PhotoFor the past 50 years the New York State Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) Region 6 has been gathering a team of volunteers and staff to collect data on the resident Canada Geese population. According to Regional Habitat Manager Christopher J. Balk, the data collected helps manage the flock and provide pertinent information to tailor bag limits during hunting season. This June 30, 8 am – 2 pm, is another opportunity to corral and handle some geese.

“The volunteers get to reach over the top of the enclosure and help hand the goose to a staff member,” says Balk. “We are usually banding at least 400-500 geese at this event and use the information to primarily report on the bird’s location at two points of time.”

These geese are resident, not migratory, Canada Geese so the distance between their wintering and summering habitat is usually only a few hundred miles. Hunters report the band numbers when they harvest the birds in the fall. The data allows Balk and his colleagues to track to see if a flock is intermingling or not, track growth and movements of the resident population and and to establish annual hunting regulations. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Summer Season

ALSTF flyer 2016Renowned Bass-Baritone George Cordes has performed with numerous operatic companies from the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera to Opera Boston and Houston Grand Opera to name (drop) a few.

Around the Adirondacks, Cordes brought the Demon Barber of Fleet Street to life in Pendragon Theatre’s performance of “Sweeney Todd” as well as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. His other regional performances through High Peaks Opera, the Northern Lights Choir and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta helped broaden the regions exposure to opera. Now Cordes is putting on a different hat and bringing his vast experience to spearhead the 2016 Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts Summer Theatre Festival. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Frog Jumping and Ugly Ties: An Adirondack Father’s Day

2008615 Frogs #17My children have always embraced the nontraditional when it comes to gift giving. There have not been a lot of crazy ties or Old Spice that has crossed our door in anticipation of Father’s Day. Instead, my husband has endured his fair share of incompatible food tastings and inedible breakfast sandwiches. Like most fathers, he doesn’t really care what comes on the plate as long as he can spend time with his family.

According to the Town of Webb Publicity Director Mike Farmer, the Old Forge Frog Jumping and Ugly Tie Contest is about as nontraditional as one can get. For the past 44 years Old Forge has been the gathering spot for longest jumping frogs in the area. This event pits frog against frog in a series of categories like size, speed and longest jump.

“All frogs are safe and welcome here for Father’s Day,” says Farmer. “We make sure that the frogs have plenty of water and that they are released back into the wild. Annually over 30 frogs compete at the Old Forge Lakefront starting Sunday at noon. We run three heats of eight frogs each.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fort Ticonderoga Focusing Season Around The Year 1777

Fort Ticonderoga SoldiersMy family makes a point of going to Fort Ticonderoga every summer. Tri-corner hats, fife and drum corps, cannons and muskets surround us. Overlooking a beautiful backdrop of Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga is where every day is re-enactment day.

According to Fort Ti President Beth Hill, the curators choose a year from the fort’s history and focus the season’s interactive exhibits, events, and activities around that singular year. This year when we step through the doors of Fort Ticonderoga it will be 1777. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The US National Fly Fishing Championships Kicking Off

Fly Fishing on the Ausable River - photo by John WarrenThe US National Fly Fishing Championships begins Wednesday, June 1st, when some of the best anglers in the country check-in at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center at 7 pm. There will be three days of competition for spots on the National Fly Fishing Team.

According to event organizer Ken Crane, this is the first year the nationals have come to the area. Two regional qualifiers were held in the area last June. “We have 55 anglers: 11 teams of five guys, at five venues: three rivers and two lakes,” says Crane. “The competitors each get a beat, a section of the river or lake and have a three-hour catch and release session.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Festival, Remembrance At Old Forge’s Memorial Weekend

OldForgefireworksMemorial Day weekend celebrations are starting on Friday, May 27, in Old Forge with yoga, gallery openings and the monthly Moose Comedy Night. There are also a plethora of specials from food coupons to lodging discounts. As fun and festive as the weekend plans are going to be, Old Forge has carefully separated their celebration to maintain the integrity of Memorial Day.

According to Town of Webb Tourism Director Mike Farmer this is the second year that the Old Forge Red, White and Blue Memorial Celebration weekend. For first year, organizers worked to get the event off the ground, never realizing how popular the weekend would be. » Continue Reading.