The 10-day long Saranac Lake Winter Carnival starts on February 1st, and behind-the-scenes action is taking place as we speak to get everything ready. We’ve got the latest information on the ice palace construction, a brand new event to the carnival, and what to expect at the Winter Carnival Headquarters.
Ice Palace Construction is Underway
The Ice Palace, arguably the biggest attraction at the carnival, is currently under construction. Volunteers started on January 17th and are expected to continue right up until the first day of the carnival.
A group informally known as the Ice Palace Workers 101 have been working tirelessly to put this majestic masterpiece together. Volunteers work under extremely cold conditions, handling ice and snow to put the palace together through manual efforts as well as with modern equipment. Machines are used for the heavy lifting, but much is done by hand, with antique hand saws and ice tongs.
Volunteers also make slush – yes, slush! – to hold the palace together. This task is accomplished by filling an infinite number of buckets with water, pounding in snow, carrying the buckets to the palace walls, and then applying the slush with their own (rubber gloved) hands.
The Ice Palace is a spectacular sight to see. You can find it during the carnival adjacent to the Lake Flower State Boat Launch on River Street.
The New Skate Lake Colby Event
Brand new this year, the Skate Lake Colby event takes place on Sunday, February 3rd at the Lake Colby Beach. There will be ice skating paths and a fat bike trail. From 12pm to 5pm the public is welcome to bring their own ice skates or try out other ice sports like kicksleds, Nordic skates, and fat bikes.
Then from 6pm to 8pm, the public is welcome to bring their own skates, headlamps, or flashlights to skate the path at night.
John Dimon of Human Power Planet Earth came up with the idea for this event.
“We hope people will see the great potential of recreational enjoyment for locals and visitors so that we can keep the path open for ice sport enthusiasts and make Saranac Lake an ice sporting destination,” Dimon said in a statement.
What You’ll Find at Winter Carnival Headquarters
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Headquarters will open for the season on February 1st at the ROOST office at 193 River Street. Here you’ll find a gift shop, maps, and information on the various events of the festival. Logo items will be for sale, including shirts, hats, pillows, magnets, and more.
There will also be videos featured on screen for people to learn more about the carnival, and Winter Carnival buttons and posters from previous years will be available as well. All proceeds from sales benefit the carnival.