Daffest organizers plan a bouquet of fun

Daffest organizers are ushering in spring whether Mother Nature likes it or not.

They announced on Thursday a cornucopia of activities planned for this year's inaugural spring festival in downtown Saranac Lake.

During a press conference at the Village Offices, Mayor Clyde Rabideau introduced event sponsors and volunteers who helped assemble a celebratory fusion for the weekend of April 29, such as a youth soapbox car derby, horse-drawn wagon rides, a live band, a bake sale and, in case that wasn't enough, a "doggy" parade.

Rabideau singled out the event's founder, local real estate broker Cherrie Sayles, as the driving force behind the creative mix.

"She was the inspiration and the idea person behind Daffest," he said.

Sayles said she couldn't have done it without an outpouring of community support. She thanked a number of volunteers who are contributing to the festival, including Plattsburgh artists Corky Corrado and Tony Bucci, who donated a 5-foot tall sculpture of a Daffodil.

"It's awesome," Sayles said.

The festivities begin at noon on Friday next week. Activities will be centered on Riverside Park amid what Sayles promises to be a sea of blooming yellow daffodils. There will be live music, local artisans and the opportunity to purchase plant bulbs.

An assortment of other activities will spill out into the village as well.

On Friday, volunteers from Will Rogers will give historic tours of the village, while caf s, restaurants, and bars will host parties throughout the day and into the evening.

Saturday features a soapbox car race for kids ages 5 and up beginning at 11 a.m. near the overpass on LaPan Highway.

Boxcar organizer Bob Bevilacqua said he has 50 kids signed up for the race already. He said it's the first soapbox car race to be held in Saranac Lake since 1955.

The main item on Sunday will be the "Crazy for Canines Doggy Parade," in which kids will be encouraged to dress their furry companions in full costumes and march them down Main Street.

One of the parade's organizers, Lois Donnelly, said the High Peaks Dog Training Club would give out awards to participants for the best in show, among other categories.

For a complete schedule go to www.daffest.com.

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