Winter Carnival offers new sled dog races, skydiving competition

The Carnival also includes a new Skydiving Swoop Competition daily each weekend, plus the return of a long-time favorite - the sanctioned sled dog weight-pull competition - that has been absent for several years. This event is set for Feb. 20 and 21.

Also returning are tethered hot-air balloon rides, along with a balloon "walk-around" for children that want to experience one close-up. This will be set up in the parking lot of King Neptune's tavern, inside which there will be crafts and games. These activities join the pony rides at the Children's Petting Zoo which has been very popular since it was introduced just several years ago.

The debut of the Lake George Sanctioned Dog Sled Races, sponsored by the Winter Carnival and South Warren Snowmobile Association, will feature racers of the New England Sled Dog Club. This event will begin on Transfer Rd., near Exit 21, in Lake George, and will run on the South Warren Snowmobile Trail System. Registration is at Duffy's Tavern on Friday night, February 26. Details are available on the New England Sled Dog Club's website, at www.nesdc.org. B

Albany Spin Jam will be performing on February 13 and 27. On the last weekend of the Carnival, weather depending, there will be a Balloon "Fly Off" one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset, by Sunkiss Ballooning. After the Fly Off, there will be a Moonglow, again, depending on the weather. Also new this year will be performances by Albany Spin Jam, performers who twirl flaming batons to throbbing music.

And what would Winter Carnival be without its trademark Polar Plunge, featuring dozens of brave swimmers dashing into the frigid lake - a favorite spectator event set for 3 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, Kokalas said she was positive that attendance at this year's Carnival would be robust, regardless of the economy's uncertainty.

"Look at the record-breaking crowd we had at the New Year's Day Polar Plunge this year - people came out in swarms," she said. "It's a lot of fun, and people like to get out in the crisp ar and enjoy all the activities - Plus, we're a one-day destination for residents of the Capital District."

To find out more details about the events, see: www.lakegeorgewintercarnival.com

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