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Saranac Lake Winter Carnival wraps up, looks ahead

Lil’ invader - A girl in a Marvin the Martian costume from the Little Lawn Chair Ladies walking unit makes her way up Main Street during the Saturday, Feb. 11 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade. The theme this year was “Space Alien Invasion.”

Lil’ invader - A girl in a Marvin the Martian costume from the Little Lawn Chair Ladies walking unit makes her way up Main Street during the Saturday, Feb. 11 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade. The theme this year was “Space Alien Invasion.” Photo by Andy Flynn.

— The 10-day Saranac Lake Winter Carnival wrapped up Sunday evening, Feb. 12, with a slide show presentation by photographer Mark Kurtz and a grand finale display of fireworks at the Ice Palace on Lake Flower, but it seems this event never truly ends.

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Members of the “Meet the New Neighbors” walking unit, sponsored by Adirondack by Owner, participate in the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade Saturday, Feb. 11. They took first place in their category.

This carnival — ranked No. 2 on the National Geographic Traveler magazine’s top 10 list of best winter carnivals in the world — is so ingrained in the fabric of Saranac Lake life that work on next year’s event begins as soon as this year’s ends.

The Winter Carnival Committee was set to meet Feb. 15 to do what they always do the Wednesday after the slide show and fireworks — take an assessment of positives and negatives from the event and start working on making it better than ever. The committee is a well-oiled machine of volunteers, each with a single task or a variety of tasks.

Soon the committee will be collecting ideas for the theme of the 2013 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, a process that includes brainstorming, an online newspaper poll, and a final vote from committee members. That should happen in the coming weeks. This year’s theme was “Space Alien Invasion.”

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Paul Smith’s College students perform for the crowd at Riverside Park Saturday, Feb. 11 during the Woodsmen’s Exhibition at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.

Meanwhile, those who missed seeing the Ice Palace — the centerpiece of the Winter Carnival — still have time to walk around the structure at the Lake Flower boat launch and take photographs. At the end of February, however, it will be knocked down, and if the weather turns warm and the ice blocks become unsafe, it may be dismantled sooner. Ice blocks from the palace can be seen as late as early May, as the spring weather returns the structure back to its place of origin — Pontiac Bay.

And those who missed the slide show, Kurtz will play it again at Saranac Village at Will Rogers at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.

As for the king and queen of Winter Carnival — Tim Fortune and Kelly Morgan — they will reign until the next Coronation Ceremony, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, when the fun begins all over again. They will be seen at events throughout the year, wearing their robes and crowns, representing their subjects in the community of Saranac Lake.

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Saranac Lake Winter Carnival King Tim Fortune and Queen Kelly Morgan take a trip down Mount Pisgah prior to the inner tube races on Friday, Feb. 10.

For more information, including results and photos, visit online at www.saranaclakewintercarnival.com.

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