Outhouse races, dog pulls and 'polar plunge' at Lake George Winter Carnival this weekend

LAKE GEORGE This weekend, the Lake George Winter Carnival opens with the zany traditional outhouse races, dog weight pull competitions, a snowshoe sprint, and the long-standing Polar Plunge into the frigid waters of Lake George. Thousands are expected to attend the Carnival, an annual festival held in Lake George Village over the four weekends in February. Outhouse races, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, will feature teams, sponsored by local taverns, dragging homemade outhouses on a course down the ice atop Lake George. Saturdays activities also include tethered hot air balloon rides starting at 8 a.m. (weather permitting), a chicken wing cook-off from noon to 2 p.m., and a snowshoe race. The latter is a 1,500-meter Empire State Games Qualifier, and is sponsored by the Corinth Snowshoe Club. This competition will start at 11 a.m. in Battlefield Park off Beach Road, followed by opening ceremonies at 11:30 a.m. in Shepard Park. Saturday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., a benefit Blues Blast, featuring local blues bands, will be held at King Neptunes Pub. On both Saturday and Sunday, childrens activities are set to begin at 11 a.m., with competitive games following at noon. A polar golf contest, in which the ball hit closest to the pin wins a prize, will be held from noon to 2 p.m. A giant ice slide in Shepard Park is available during daylight hours over the weekend. Also on both days are a series of dog weight pull competitions, starting at 9 a.m. The contests, sponsored by the International Weight Pull Association, put dozens of dogs strength and training to the test. Also on both Saturday and Sunday will be a Snowmobile Water Skip demonstration at 2:30 p.m., in which a sled careens across the open water hopefully without sinking. Scheduled for 3 p.m. both days is the Polar Plunge event, in which dozens of people of all ages dash in and out of the water or take a lengthy swim in the chilly waters near Shepard Park. Also, a group of re-enactors will be portraying a mid-1700s encampment of soldiers during the French and Indian War on the shore of Lake George near Shepard Park.

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