The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival begins this Friday, January 31, 2020 and the theme is “Myths & Legends.” Running ten days until the 9th, you can find the official schedule on their website.
Starting in early 1897 as a one-day event of outdoor sports and games presented by the newly formed Pontiac Club, the carnival has enjoyed a rich history of fun and frolic and has grown to become one of the region’s most popular winter events.
The Ice Palace is the heart of the Winter Carnival and is hugely popular – both for viewing and in its construction. This article by Mark Kurtz details the construction process and devotion of community members who build the palace.
Winter Carnival includes many other popular events, including two parades and three sets of spectacular fireworks, and beginning with the coronation of the King and Queen on the first Friday night of the 10-day festival. The King and Queen are selected from a group of nominees who have made significant contributions to the well-being of the community through their volunteer work.
They are joined by a Prince and Princess elected by the two local colleges, Paul Smith’s College and North Country Community College, and everyone is surrounded by a Royal Court of Lads and Lassies elected by the Saranac Lake High School.
The Royal Court is completed with six pages, a Chamberlain, and an Archbishop.
Organized by an all-volunteer group called the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee, the Winter Festival is a community-driven event made possible by the efforts of many volunteers and sponsors.
Be sure to take part in the carnival while you’re in the area, and if you’re still making plans be sure to schedule your 2020 visit during the ten days of January 31-February 9.
From Lake Placid: 8 miles
Carnival Photographer: Mark Kurtz Photography
Carnival Button & Poster: Garry Trudeau