The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is almost here! We’ve rounded up all the information you’ll need to know before you attend one of the most popular winter events in the Adirondacks: where the parade will be and how you can watch it live online, where to park (there are some restrictions), inside information on how the ice palace is being constructed, and more.
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade Details
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade will be held on Saturday, February 10th at 1pm. The parade will take place at Broadway and Main Street from Ampersand Avenue to Lapan Highway. You can expect creative floats, quirky performers, and much more.
Parade participants will be judged in several classes, including businesses, volunteer groups, youth groups, school groups, independent groups, and animal units. Trophies will be awarded to the top two entries in each group that best adhere to the “Adirondack Festival” theme; there will also be the Louis Fobare Trophy for Best of Show.
The parade and the Coronation of Winter Carnival Royalty Ceremony – which is taking place on Friday, February 2nd at 7:30pm – will both be streamed live online.
The two events will also be recorded and later broadcast by Spectrum Cable as their schedule permits on local television channel 2.
Lake Flower Boat Launch Parking Lot Restrictions
The Lake Flower Boat Launch parking lot next to the ice palace is closed for safety and traffic reasons during the carnival on the following days: Saturday the 3rd, Sunday the 4th, Saturday the 10th, and Sunday the 11th. Only handicap parking will be available on these days.
However, weekend parking will be available at North Country Community College at 23 Santanoni Avenue, and at Saranac Lake Middle School at 79 Canaras Avenue.
There will also be free shuttles to the ice palace to pick up and drop off about every 15 minutes.
Guests are encouraged to plan accordingly so they know where to park.
Ice Palace Construction Underway
Volunteers are currently working hard to bring carnival guests the famous ice palace! Construction began on January 24th and is expected to finish up around the start of the carnival on Friday, February 2nd. Have you ever wondered how this incredible structure is put together?
Ice for the palace is taken from Lake Flower and then transported to shore where it’s shaped into the palace based on blueprint plans. Volunteers who undertake this massive project are organized by a group known as the Ice Palace Workers 101.
The putting together of the palace is a huge communitywide effort. With so many years of history behind the carnival, there is undoubtedly a strong sense of pride and teamwork behind those who volunteer.
The volunteers are subject to very cold temperatures and unfavorable weather conditions. Although modern equipment is used for heavy lifting, manual methods are used as well, such as making slush from water and snow; the slush is imperative to holding the ice palace together.
Volunteers fill bucks with water, pound in the snow, carry it to the palace, and apply the slush manually while wearing rubber gloves. In other words, volunteers are not only working in harsh conditions, but they’re directly handling the snow and ice.
You’ll be able to see the famed ice palace adjacent to the Lake Flower State Boat Launch on River Street.
Bevilacqua Family Will be Winter Carnival Grand Marshal
Have you heard of the Bevilacqua family? They’ve been an integral part of the Saranac Lake community for several generations, and so it’s only natural this special family has been chosen as Winter Carnival Grand Marshal.
Carl and Elizabeth “Jim” Bevilacqua moved to the area in the 1940s, they had six children, and all six still live and work in Saranac Lake today.
The public is invited to meet the Bevilacquas at the Grand Marshal Reception on February 6th at Hotel Saranac. This is a free event, with snacks and a cash bar.
The reception is followed by the Winter Carnival Royalty Dinner which is at 6pm, costs $32, and is by reservation only. All proceeds from the Royalty Dinner will go towards the winter carnival.
Where You Can Find Winter Carnival Headquarters
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Headquarters is located at the ROOST office at 193 River Street. It will open on February 2nd, and will be open throughout the 10-day carnival from 9am to 5pm.
Carnival-goers will find gift shops, maps, and valuable information on what’s going on with the festival. This year’s Winter Carnival buttons and posters designed by the Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau will be available here; buttons and posters from prior years will be on sale as well.
About the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is brought to us by the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Committee, a nonprofit of volunteers who are dedicated to bringing the carnival to the community every winter.
This is a 10-day event that first started in 1897 by the Pontiac Club. Each year, the carnival pays homage to its history by building the ice palace from blocks of ice harvested from Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay, where carnival events have traditionally be held for many years.