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Daffest continued throughout the weekend

SARANAC LAKE -Daffest kicked off for the first time on Friday in Saranac Lake, and there is still plenty to do.

The event has received high praise from village Mayor Clyde Rabideau, who 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.

Jim McKenna, president of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, said that he feels Daffest can become another major event in the Tri-Lakes area.

"It's one of those events that we think can turn into a big-time annual event for the region," McKenna said. "There's a lot of fun to be had there."

Saturday's events feature a soapbox car race for kids ages five and up beginning at 11 a.m. near the overpass on LaPan Highway, with an opening parade taking place at 10:45 a.m.

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.

Also taking place will be a Junk to Funk fashion show at the Sparks Athletic Complex; Lawn Chair Ladies; the Paul Smith's College cake decorating demonstration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; demonstrations by the North Country Community College Wilderness Recreation Leadership Program; the Blue Line Sport Shop fishing clinic; the Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters kayak and canoe demonstration; and the High Peaks Opera and open house at Will Rogers; tours of Saranac Village at Will Rogers; historic tours; art displays; the Lemon Festival at Riverside Park from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.; and horse-drawn wagon rides.

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.

Events on May 1 include the Crazy for Canines Doggie Parade, a bake and food sale to benefit the Tri-Lakes Humane Society and other entertainment.

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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