FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Winter Carnival announces Summer Ice Palace
Saranac Lake, Adirondacks - April 1, 2015 - The overwhelming popularity of Saranac Lake’s historic Winter Carnival has led to the creation of a summer version.
“We realize this is a special challenge,” said Summer Carnival coordinator Ima Gladd-Colby. “But since we don’t get those brutal summer temperatures we decided to go for it. Our cool breeze off the lake gives us an advantage when it comes to keeping people happy. We thought it could help our Summer Ice Palace, too.”
While the local lakes are excellent for swimming, boating, paddling, and fishing, their lack of ice in the summer called for even more community commitment than in the winter. When the call went out for freezer space, numerous potlucks were organized at local churches and meeting halls to accommodate all the frozen meat evicted to make this town's dream a reality. Fortunately, Saranac Lake has a high per-capita distribution of both chest and upright freezers due to the long local tradition of hunting and being prepared for weather challenges.
"The churches organized the sausages and the bone-in cuts," Ms. Gladd-Colby said. "While the Moose Lodge had the equipment and the manpower to make batch after batch of a number of chili varieties. The venison types were very popular, especially after the Fish and Game club found that big package of squirrel."
The series of potlucks gave the town the energy for the next big task: distributing 513,120 ice cube trays. "Our first estimates were based on our population and the freezer percentage of the town's use of electricity. But then we found out they came in packages of six. And we get free shipping if we go over half a million. Of course, they can be re-used every year."
These were also special ice trays. The cubes come out in the shape of Lego blocks.
"We did some small-scale tests and found that regular ice cubes have that curved side which required too much mortar, and we don't have a lot of snow that time of year. Once our building committee found out these Lego ice trays were available, the plan to use the Leprechaun novelty ice trays didn't look quite as appealing. While they were very cheap once St. Patrick's Day was over, and the top hats and pointy shoes had the advantage of interlocking, these building blocks used the least mortar of any of the ones we considered."
Since Winter Carnival always has a certain number of blocks which turn out to be inadequate for building, the committee's plans include using any broken, shrunken, or sloping blocks as raw materials to use in the traditional games and events of Carnival. "We had to be more fussy about the order of some events," Ms. Gladd-Colby said. "The Frying Pan toss will go first, and then the snowshoe races. By that time the blocks should be broken up enough to ski on. When that event is over, we can empty everyone's picnic coolers over the crushed pieces and be ready for curling."
The theme of Summer Carnival has not been decided yet. Winter Carnival themes change every year, and are voted on by the town. At last count, "Man of La Mancha" was in the lead, with "Shackleton in the Race to the Pole" still a strong second. And there is one more change the organizers have to work around.
"We have been forced to move the location of the Ice Palace for this new event," Ms. Gladd-Colby said. "It was strongly debated, because Saranac Lake loves its traditions. But it was finally decided to build it in the shade."