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‘Festival for the Lake’ attracts crowds, sparks interest in L.G.’s health

At ceremonies concluding Lake George Village’s Festival of the Lake this past weekend, long-time village employee and community volunteer Virginia Henry accepts a bouquet of roses from her great-grandson Lincoln Cameron, 9, while Lake George Mayor Robert Blais announces that she is the village’s first “Queen of the Lake.” Participating in the presentation are Gayle Nelson, Henry’s granddaughter, (left rear) and great-granddaughter Kendra Cameron (right rear).

At ceremonies concluding Lake George Village’s Festival of the Lake this past weekend, long-time village employee and community volunteer Virginia Henry accepts a bouquet of roses from her great-grandson Lincoln Cameron, 9, while Lake George Mayor Robert Blais announces that she is the village’s first “Queen of the Lake.” Participating in the presentation are Gayle Nelson, Henry’s granddaughter, (left rear) and great-granddaughter Kendra Cameron (right rear). Photo by Thom Randall.

— Thousands of people were drawn this past weekend to enjoy family-oriented activities of the ambitious Festival for the Lake, which raised money to help protect the lake’s ecology.

For three days, the village’s main drag, Canada St., was cordoned off, as was Beach Road. A wide variety of craft vendors sold their wares to passersby, with all pledging a portion of their proceeds toward the village’s efforts to combat aquatic invasive species.

About a dozen bands performed over the three-day street festival, which featured a children’s carnival, a craft fair, a climbing wall, casino games and plenty of beer and wine.

Sunday’s activities included crowning of the Queen of the Lake, awarded to community pillar Virginia Henry, who instituted craft festivals in the village 37 years ago, as well as serving for decades as a village employee, most recently as the municipality’s Deputy Clerk-Treasurer.

“I’m so honored,” Henry said as her granddaughter Gayle Nelson, dressed as the “Lake Princess,” crowned her. Nelson’s children, Kendra Cameron, 10, and Lincoln Cameron, 9, helped their mother with the honor.

Nelson, the current coordinator of various craft festivals in Lake George, said her grandmother deserved to be the village’s first Queen of the Lake for not only her public service, but her various volunteer activities through the years.

“My grandmother has put her footprint, thumbprint and heart-print all over Lake George Village,” she said.

Minutes after the crowning ceremony, Richard Thomas of Albany listened to a band playing classic rock music onstage.

“This was my favorite place to vacation as a kid,” Thomas said, adding that he was happy that admission fees and a portion of the vendors’ proceeds were dedicated to protecting Lake George from invasives. “I’d like the lake to stay around in the condition it’s in — It’s beautiful up here.”

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