The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival always begins the first weekend in February and continues through the following weekend - often the coldest days of the year, but full of family fun, parades, games, exhibits, fireworks (at the beginning and the end), with a King, Queen and royal court, and the celebrated Ice Palace.
From the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival web site: "The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival began as an integral part of Saranac Lake's history as a renowned health resort. Back in the late 1800s, the village was a thriving logging community nestled deep in the Adirondack wilderness. Its pristine setting provided healing and rejuvenation for hundreds of sufferers of tuberculosis from all over North America. In the course of "taking the cure" here, many patients experienced a renewed passion for life, and took every opportunity – in every season – to explore the natural beauty that surrounded them. The long, cold Adirondack winters with snow-covered mountains and ice-encrusted lakes provided the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreational activities such as skiing, sledding, and skating. In order to break winter's chill and to promote "outdoor sports and games", the Pontiac Club was formed in 1896, and a year later, they sponsored the first "Mid-Winter Carnival". This first Winter Carnival was a two-day affair that featured skating races, a parade and an "ice tower" – features that have been, in one form or another, part of every Carnival since.
The original "ice tower" soon evolved into an "Ice Palace." The Ice Palace was an outgrowth of the village's ice industry, which, in the days before electric refrigerators, harvested ice from local lakes for use in ice boxes across the country and around the world. Despite some refinements in machinery, the Ice Palace is still constructed in much the same manner as it was in 1898, the first year it was built."
Now, in addition to the community volunteer built Ice Palace, you will find ski and snowshoe races, a woodsman's demonstration, the "Artic BBQ", ultimate frisbee games, a figure skating show, the challenging "Women's Frying Pan Toss" and lots of live music and special dinners. It's a community wide, one-of-a-kind celebration for both the hardy residents and visitors to the area. Don't miss it! For schedules and event details visit the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival web site.