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Winter Carnival to feature colorful airborne spectacle, family fun

LAKE GEORGE - With a reduced emphasis on motorized vehicles, the Lake George Winter Carnival returns this weekend with a lineup of family-oriented activities.

Saturday, Carnival spectators are likely to see a colorful array of kites in the skies over the lake as members of the New York Kite Enthusiasts fly their unusual and festive creations. Also, they'll be offering demonstrations and instructions, Carnival official Kathi Kokalas said.

Also brightening the skies will be colorful hot air balloons, conducting liftoffs and tethered rides both Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 a.m., depending on the wind.

But regardless of the wind velocity Saturday, the kite flyers will be out in force, New York Kite Enthusiasts official Jeremy Johannesen of East Berne said.

"The event in Lake George is a great opportunity for us to get all the serious kite flyers together," he said.

There are relatively few good kite-lying spots in the Adirondacks, he said, because of the trees and terrain. But atop the ice of Lake George, there's plenty of room to maneuver for kite flyers, he continued.

"Were pleased to get out and share our passion for kite flying with the community during the winter," Johannesen said, referring to his group of 50 or so members. He estimated that about half of the group's membership would be participating Saturday.

Kites of all shapes, types and sizes will be filling the sky, from traditional "dimestore" kites to elaborate airborne craft with a pricetags of $2,000 or more - or fanciful handmade creations and balloon-type kites which inflate into three dimensional characters with the wind.

Some kites that his group members fly, he said, can be up to 50 feet in length and 20 feet wide, requiring beefy kite string, up to 3/16ths of an inch in diameter.

Snowmobile and ATV riders on Lake George this weekend must be aware of this thick kite string, Johannesen said. because it can pose a hazard.

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