SARANAC LAKE - It's a tradition synonymous with Saranac Lake winters - and it doesn't have anything to do with registering the coldest temperatures in the continental United States.
The 2010 Winter Carnival buttons are now on sale at a bevy of locations throughout Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival Committee member Barb Martin said the buttons cost three dollars apiece this year.
Businesses selling buttons include: Adirondack Liquor, Ampersound, Amanda's Motel, Blue Line, Blue Moon Cafe, the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Captain Cook's, Hyde's Mobil and Nice-n-Easy, Kinney Drugs, Lake View Deli, Post Office Pharmacy, Rite-Aid, Rice Furniture, The Waterhole #3, Duso's Crescent Bay Marina, Ace Hardware, Adirondack Bank (both branch locations), the Saranac Lake Adult Center, Bear Essentials, Belleville & Associates, Borealis Color, Community Bank (both branch locations), Charlie's Inn, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Fact & Fiction Bookshop, Grizle T's, Gus's Diner, HSBC, McKenzie's Grill, Maurice's, NBT Bank, White Pine Design, Bloomin' Market, Norman's, and Upscale Resale.
The button was designed, as always, by native son Garry Trudeau, creator of the "Doonesbury" cartoon series. The pin characterizes this year's theme - Adirondack Cowboy.
The design shows one of Trudeau's classic cartoon characters flying down a mountainside aboard a snowmobile. The long-haired, bearded man is decked-out in cowboy attire and he waves his hat in the air as if he's riding a bucking bronco.
Jeff Dickson is chairman of the Winter Carnival Committee.
"Garry has produced a wonderfully whimsical combination of the past and the present," he said. "Again this year, it is a really great, fun button."
The 113th Saranac Lake Winter Carnival runs from Feb. 5 - 14. It's the longest running event of its kind in the eastern United States.
The committee is currently accepting nominations from community members for this year's Winter Carnival King and Queen. Nominations must be submitted separately and include the candidate's volunteer services history. Signatures are required and must be received by Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Nominations should be sent to The Winter Carnival, Box E-1062 care of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, P.O. Box 318, Saranac Lake, NY 12983. They can also be dropped off at the chamber offices at 193 River Street - the North Elba Townhouse.
Past buttons can be ordered at saranaclakewintercarnival.com. Most years are available, but some have sold out. Galleries featuring pictures of old buttons can be viewed as well.
The carnival committee meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the board room at North Country Community College. There will be no meeting this week due to the holidays.