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Your guide to this year’s Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

Children in “fancy dress” pose in front of the Ice Palace in Saranac Lake, date unknown. Courtesy of the Saranac Lake Free Library’s Adirondack Room

Children in “fancy dress” pose in front of the Ice Palace in Saranac Lake, date unknown. Courtesy of the Saranac Lake Free Library’s Adirondack Room

— The east coast’s longest-running wintertime celebrations, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, kicks off Friday, Jan. 31 and runs until Sunday, Feb. 9.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about the celtic-themed constellation of over 100 official and informal events spread across the community.

Festivities kick off on Friday, Jan. 31 with High Tea and a performance at the Left Bank Café. Don’t miss the Coronation of Winter Carnival Royalty (7:30pm, Harrietstown Town Hall) and the post-coronation Royalty Reception at the Waterhole.

Night owls can look forward to a ‘cosmic bowling’ dance party with DJ Funky Cold Medina at Romano’s Saranac Lanes at 10:30am alongside other nightlife specials.

Festivalgoers are encouraged to wake up bright and early on Saturday, Feb. 1 to catch the 1st Annual Humble Pie Chess Tournament (Will Rogers, 10am) or the four-mile fun run that blasts off from the Ice Palace at 10am. The Lutheran Church will hold a craft sale at the Harrietstown Town Hall until 4pm; Lake Flower will host a curling exhibition at 11am and if manly men (and women!) chopping up bits of wood is more your thing, head over to Riverside Park for the Paul Smith’s College Woodsmen’s Exhibition (see feature on page ) at 11am and the Ladies’ Fry Pan Toss, the mega-competitive crowd favorite that sees culinary-inclined competitors from across the world congregate in this sleepy mountain town, shortly afterwards at 12:30pm.

Stick around the park to catch the Women’s Civic Chamber “Great Celtic Treasure Quest” Treasure Hunt kick-off at 2:30pm. At 4pm, Inisheer will perform at the Harrietstown Town Hall and from 4-7pm, St. Bernard’s will hold a spaghetti dinner at the school cafeteria.

The evening’s events will start in earnest at 7pm with the lighting of the acclaimed Ice Palace and opening fireworks display. The Winter Carnival Celtic Jam will follow at the Harriettstown Town Hall at 8pm in which all musicians, both professional and amateur, are invited to join in prior to fanning out to the numerous bars and clubs in the area hosting live music and drink specials.

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