Sunday, February 11, 2007

Winter Carnival

This week Saranac Lake is hosting/celebrating the 110th annual Winter Carnival, and we attended and had a great time...

One of the main features of the carnival is the ice castle, made out of huge blocks of ice cut from Lake Flower and assembled by volunteers. Visitors can wander around and inside the castle and grounds and greet the carnival King and Queen and characters (local people dress up in costumes and greet/hug children while wandering around the castle)...


Inside the castle, Ben, along with lots of other kids, climbed all over the throne...making all of the parents nervous (with visions on slipping and falling and bonking dancing in our heads)...


We found our way outside of the castle, and tracked down Tigger for a hello and a hug...we were a little disappointed not to find Spiderman, but figured that maybe he out was rescuing people somewhere...


This year's castle had a maze built behind it...with walls about 6 feet high...wandering through the maze after Ben, I could see lots of Eurasian Milfoil frozen into the blocks...the milfoil is an invasive species that is a plague on the waterways and native species of the Adirondacks...you can see some of it in the block about 18 inches above Ben's head and a bit to the left...


Ben was excited to meet and greet Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, a character making his first appearance at the Winter Carnival this year...


We wandered out onto Lake Flower in the place where they cut the blocks of ice for the castle...the sign is both for comic relief, and to warn off potatoheads who may be tempted by the open water (when blocks have recently been harvested) to do their impressions of a polar bear...


After playing at the castle for about an hour, we went home to warm up and refuel before returning for the parade. Upon returning to the parade route's optimum viewing spot, we ran into the Buerketts and also some geocaching friends, Geolobo and Bluegirl...Ben loves the parade...he points and laughs and waves and talks and has a great time...yes, he was on the far side of the police line...


A new attraction in this year's parade was a gaggle (pod, herd, jumbunk???) of Oompa-Loompas...they were wonderful, including a Loompa-tastic dance number right in front of us...on the drive home I passed one of them hanging out in the doorway of the local VFW hall with a long-neck bud in one hand and a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his orange mouth...


There were a couple of great bands, large and small...this brass band was fun...I didn't include any pictures of the bagpipe troupe, for fear of a costume malfunction...


The shriner's made their annual appearance, which always makes me feel conflicted...I love what they do for children in need of medical attention, but am compelled to mock them due to the fezzes...I particularly enjoyed the uber-fez...


Although there were a couple of firetrucks still to come after they had gone by, the Winter Carnival Parade is for all intents and purposes done once the Lawn-Chair Ladies have done their thing..every year they present well rehearsed and choreographed dance and percussion routines making use of their aluminum lawn-chairs...


They were, as always, spectacular...the precision and verve which they throw into their performance is breath-taking, awe-inspiring, and makes me jealous of that level of commitment and free-time...


Thanks Saranac Lake...for being such a cool place to live...

1 comment:

Gran said...

Thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures of an another exciting adventure. What a wonderful display of community involvement...and of course seeing Ben enjoying every minute of the activity. Don't forget to send along any pictures of the children's parade!