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Saranac Lake community ready to party

SARANAC LAKE Parades, pageantry and a party not to be missed The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is set to kick off this weekend. The 111th carnival will run from Feb. 1-10, celebrating with the theme, Hurray for Hollywood. Begun as a one-day event to break the monotony of the long Adirondack winter, the carnival has grown into a 10-day festival that includes sporting activities, dances, dramatic and musical productions, two parades (one especially for children) and two sets of fireworks above the world famous Ice Palace. Carnival chairman Don Duso said for the first time in years, weather had been cold enough to construct the ice palace plenty of time in advance. We've got good weather for building the ice palace - it's working really well, and its a big part of carnival, said Duso. Winter carnival starts with the crowning of the king and queen of winter carnival at the Coronation of Carnival Royalty in the Harrietstown Town Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. During this event, the king and queen who will preside over all the events are named. Former kings and queens select the pair in recognition of their contributions to the community. Also Friday evening, Music & Mirth will make its 4th annual appearance at Bluseed Studios at 8 p.m. Due to the Superbowl Feb. 3, a number of events that traditionally have been held Sunday evening have been moved to a very crowded Saturday schedule. Throughout Saturday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the annual Business and Professional Womens Chocolate Festival and the Lutheran Church Womens Craft sale will take place at the Harrietstown Town Hall. Also at 10 a.m., the Ice Palace Fun Run will be held. The race is a four-mile trek which will weave through the village. The Petrova Winter Carnival, which includes games and tests of skill for families and children, also begins at 10 a.m. Feb. 2. Entertainment and food will be available. At 11 a.m., winter carnival celebrates the rejuvenation of one of its oldest events the sport of curling with an exhibition on Lake Flower, sponsored by The Adirondack ARC. The Paul Smiths College Woodsmen will put on an exhibition at 11 a.m. in Riverside Park. During the school year, the team competes throughout the North Country, then at winter carnival the team demonstrates its skills. The team chops and saws its way through pure Adirondack timber. Continuing the Riverside Park festivities, the popular Ladies Fry Pan Toss will follow at 12:30 p.m. The focus shifts to the Mt. Pisgah Ski Center for the White Stag Downhill Ski Races which take place throughout the afternoon, commencing at 1 p.m. This race features categories for all members of the family. The evening brings torchlight skiing at 5:30 p.m. The 7th Annual Figure Skating Spaghetti Dinner will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Methodist Church. The Ice Palace lighting will take place at 7 p.m. followed immediately by the Guide Boat Realty Opening Ceremonies Fireworks display. The historic Harrietstown Town Hall will host The Zambonis Rocks Lord of the Rinks sponsored by the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, another event returning after a long hiatus is Pond Hockey. A tournament will commence at 10 a.m. It is expected the winner will be crowned by 2:30 p.m. The second weekend of winter carnival emphasizes sporting events, includes the variety show and not one, but two parades. Friday, Feb. 8 is a day off for local schools. Most students find their way to Mt. Pisgah by 10 a.m. for the Adirondack Bank Innertube Races. Saranac Lake Free Library also begins its book sale at 10 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. For those kids who would rather skate than tube, the Childrens Skating Races are at 12:30 p.m. at the Civic Center. The Adirondack Artists Guild hosts its 10th Year Anniversary art show and reception featuring violinist Kama Prellwitz from 5-7 p.m. at their gallery, 52 Main Street. The Rotary Clubs annual variety show opens at 7:30 p.m. at the Harrietstown Town Hall. The show features variety acts from local and regional performers, including live music and the Rotary Club Dancers. Advance tickets are required. Tickets for the show are on sale at business locations throughout the village. Saturday, Feb. 9 begins with two breakfast opportunities. There will be a pancake breakfast at the Adult Center Sponsored by Whiteface Mt. Lodge 789 Masonic Temple from 8-11 a.m. Or, possibly for a different age group, Grimace and Carnival Characters will be at McDonalds. The McDonalds festivities take place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The Carnival Characters then move to the Ice Palace from 10-11 a.m am for fun and photos. At 10 a.m., The Mountaineers will host a rugby game at the Spencers Boatworks Field. Also at 10 a.m., the book sale continues at the Saranac Lake Free Library. From 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., the Lions Club will be selling chili at the Harrietstown Town Hall. Across the street, also at 11 a.m., Paul Smiths College will be putting on a woodsmens exhibition. The Hotel Saranac hosts the Paul Smiths College Alumni Reunion from noon-4 p.m. with a get-together and cash bar. Also at noon, the parade line-up begins on Lake Colby Drive. The Gala Parade, sponsored by the Franklin County Bicentennial Celebration begins at 1 p.m. and proceeds down Broadway and up Main Street past the reviewing stand set up in front of Town hall. After the parade, Habitat for Humanity will host a chicken and biscuits dinner at the Methodist Church. At 7:30 p.m., the Pendragon Theater hosts Twelve Angry Men. Finally, 9 p.m. brings a dance at the Hotel Saranac with Double Axel. Sunday, Feb. 10, the last day of winter carnival, brings a whole bunch of sporting events, a parade for the little revelers and the grand finale. Dewey Mountain hosts cross-country skiing for adults at 10 a.m. followed by events for kids at noon. At 11 a.m., the Snowflake Volleyball Tournament can be found at the Rotary Field next to the Civic Center and Snowshoe Softball takes place just around the corner on John Munn Road at the Elks Field. From 12:30-3:30 p.m., Sara the Snowy Owl and her helpers will be painting childrens faces at the Harrietstown Town Hall and this leads very naturally into the Kiddie Parade which starts at 2 p.m. The Kiddie Parade is sponsored by The Adirondack Arc and the Keeseville Pepsi-Cola distributor. At 3 p.m., the S.L.Y.A.A. will sponsor the 11th Annual Baroque Concert at the Methodist Church. Finally, everything comes to its official close with the American Management Association Carnival Slide Show and Gala Fireworks Display at the Ice Palace at 7:30 p.m. Along with the entertainment activities, Duso said there was another big advantage of Carnival: the boost for the regions economy. It's a real plug for the economy of the town during the winter, people fill the motels. It's a good financial shot in the arm during the winter, said Duso. Further information about the winter carnival can be obtained by contacting the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, or 891-1990. For a complete schedule of events, check out the carnival Web site at www.saranaclakewintercarnival.com .

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