Saranac Lake’s 2022 Winter Carnival was great fun.
A “Totally ‘80’s” trip down memory lane.
My wife Robin and I had already had great fun driving over together to enjoy Winter Carnival. We toured the Ice Palace, took a ride back to the future, posed for some photos (Well, mostly I did). I went “Butt Bobsledding.”
The Bobsled run was ice palace slick. It was clearly no mission for amateurs! I was undaunted. After a tailbone bruising start coming out of the gate, I quickly recovered, burned down through Shady and Zig-Zag like a Bat OuttaHell, set a new Butt Bobsledding land speed record, AND stuck the landing to bring home the gold.
Author’s Note: It’s almost that time! Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival approaches (Feb 4th-13th). One of the highlights of winter. Their 2022 theme is “Totally ‘80’s”. Ice Palace Construction is underway. Winter Carnival Parade plans are being made. Carnival King & Queen & the carnival court will soon be announced. This year’s Winter Carnival buttons are for sale.
A few years back, as we quite often do, my wife Robin and I took a weekend day trip from our Watertown home up to Saranac Lake. We planned to see the Winter Carnival Ice Palace, then meet our son RJ and his then girlfriend Carrie for lunch. RJ was in his senior year at Paul Smith’s College. Carrie was a Junior. They are now both graduated and engaged to be married. Quite the Paul Smith’s alumni pair.
We visit Saranac Lake frequently. It’s where my father lies buried. It’s where I grew up. I still refer to our weekend excursions to Saranac Lake as trips “home.”
There’s no getting around winter. So you might as well get into it. Right? Enjoy a good book, binge-watch Netflix, savor warm drinks, and cozy up beside the wood stove or fireplace for hours with your music (and your sweetie).
But, being active and getting outside are vital for our health. And most northern New Yorkers will tell you that access to year-round outdoor recreation is a bonus; one of the blessings that comes with living here. We have the Adirondack Park, along with many other local and state parks, forests, waterways, recreation areas, and trail systems that make the region attractive and accessible to families and friends who enjoy getting outside together. Unless it’s dangerously cold, winter weather is no reason to stay indoors.
For kids, winter is the season of snowballs, snow forts, snowmen, snow sculptures, snow angels, sledding, tobogganing, tubing, ice skating, and fat (tire) biking. And for families and friends, there’s snowmobiling, downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking, winter camping, dog sledding, ice fishing, and winter carnivals.
If you live in northern New York, you live in the middle of, or at least near, some of the best outdoor recreation in the east. In fact, outdoor winter recreation is a rich part of the region’s heritage and a vitally powerful and sustainable economic engine that supports local businesses and contributes to healthy local communities.
So, put on your long johns, layer up (consider several high-quality, moisture-wicking layers), and grab a warm coat, hat, boots, perhaps a scarf, and a well-insulated pair of toasty gloves or mittens. Because, as I’ve heard it said, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.’
This month, one block at a time, an ice palace emerged again on the shore of Lake Flower. If you had the chance to stop by, you may have felt its warm embrace.
The massive ice blocks of the palace remind me of the stone walls of Machu Picchu. Relying on a system of communal labor called mit’a, the Inca built enormous stone structures and highly engineered roads and bridges. Each citizen who could work was required to donate a number of days of their labor to cultivate crops and build public works. Historians of ancient Peru trace the ways the mit’a system forged a complex society. Working together, people developed friendships and bonds of reciprocity that served the common good throughout the year.
When Winter Carnival rolled around last year, my mom, sister, niece and nephew came to visit in Saranac Lake. We joined hundreds — thousands? — in watching fireworks down on Lake Flower, then inched our way toward the ice palace, flowing shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the crowd until we could cram into the ice-block structure’s passages.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade is set for Saturday, February 8th at 1 pm. The parade will take place at Broadway and Main Street from Ampersand Avenue to Lapan Highway. The procession is a crowd favorite and tradition of the Winter Carnival, featuring many creative floats, quirky performers, community members and more. » Continue Reading.
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. » Continue Reading.
“Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau has released his button design for the 2020 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.
Using the Winter Carnival’s designated theme “Myths and Legends,” Trudeau’s illustration shows “Doonesbury” character Zonker as a knight riding a winged Unicorn and gazing at a sword. Trudeau, who was raised in Saranac Lake, has created the Winter Carnival button design since 1981 to benefit the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. » Continue Reading.
Construction of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace has begun. Construction involves harvesting ice from Lake Flower, transporting it to the shore and assembling it according to a blueprint. Construction on the palace will likely continue until the start of the carnival on January 31.
The Ice Palace is built by volunteers, organized by a group informally known as the Ice Palace Workers 101 (IPW Local 101). The public is welcome to volunteer and roles are assigned based on comfort level, skill and ability. » Continue Reading.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee has introduced an Icicle Contest. The contest will be held on Saturday, February 1 at Riverside Park. Icicle drop-off begins at 11:30 am and judging takes place at noon. Contestants must take a photo of themselves with the naturally formed icicle before it is removed from their property and transport it to Riverside Park to compete for the longest intact icicle. » Continue Reading.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee has announced they are seeking contestants for the Arctic Golf Build-an-Obstacle Contest on February 1 between 10 am to 4 pm at Prescott Park, next to the Lake Flower State Boat Launch.
The contest is intended for community organizations or businesses, however it is open to anyone that would like to build a family-friendly miniature golf obstacle out of snow. » Continue Reading.
“Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau has released his poster design for the 2020 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. Using the Winter Carnival’s designated theme “Myths and Legends,” Trudeau’s illustration shows “Doonesbury” character Zonker as a knight riding a winged unicorn and gazing at a sword.
Trudeau, who was raised in Saranac Lake, has created the Winter Carnival poster design since 2012 to benefit the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival. » Continue Reading.
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