Lake George Winter Carnival Opens February 7
A return to 4-by-4 truck on-ice drag racing and new activities including Adirondack Youth Hockey Association games and zorbing, in which participants roll inside a large transparent plastic ball, are among the highlights of the 2015 Lake George Winter Carnival that kicks off Saturday, Feb. 7.
The carnival is held each weekend in February and includes perennial favorites such as weekly fireworks on Saturday at 6 p.m. and frosty polar bear swims at 3 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled for noon on Feb. 7 at Shepard Park Beach. Other activities that day are 12:30 p.m. Outhouse Races (registration at Duffy’s, 10 a.m.), a 12:30 p.m. Chili Cook-off at Shepard Park and a 4 p.m. Winter Carnival Parade followed by a Bon Fire on the Beach where people can make smores and toast marshmallows.
Expanding on an activity begun last year, a “wish lantern” fly-off will be held at 5:30 p.m. prior to each Saturday’s large fireworks display over the lake. The airborne luminaries are patterned after those in the animated Disney movie, “Tangled,” and create a beautiful spectacle as they rise into the dark sky.
The lineup on Sunday, Feb. 8 includes a Glacier Golf Tournament (noon-3 p.m.) with prizes from local golf courses, and dog sled rides on the lake ($15).
Mother Nature has already helped the Carnival by sending an Arctic blast and extended cold spell to the North Country, allowing the lake to freeze over so activities can take place on the ice.
“We should be good,” spokesperson Linda Duffy said. “It’s important to have all the events take place, and it’s always better when they’re out on the ice.”
One thing not in the lineup is sno-cross snowmobile races, previously held at the former Gaslight Village property, which is now home to the new Charles R. Wood park. The newly completed venue isn’t suitable for these races.
Other weekly events are a LG Dog’s Got Talent Show (2:30 p.m., Shepard Park Beach), giant snow slide (beach), zumba and face painting (King Neptune’s), a snowmobile water-skip (2 p.m.), pony rides in the park (noon-3 p.m. in the park; $5), kids indoor mini-golf (at Magic Castle) along with ice carvings and wood carvings at Shepard Park.
Zorbing, also called globe riding, is a sport that originated in New Zealand. The zorb is a giant lightweight orb made of flexible plastic. Zorbing is usually done on a gentle slope, but can also be done on a level surface for greater control by the rider.
It’s very popular in pubs and clubs throughout the United Kingdom.
Weekend II (Feb. 14-15) is chock full of events including the New York State American Motorcycle Association-sanctioned motorcycle and ATV ice race championship, both Saturday and Sunday. (For information call 330-3648 or 542-2144
There’s also an ATV run/Scavenger Hunt on Saturday (registration 9-11 a.m. at Duffy’s), a BBQ Cook-off (Shepard Park Beach, noon), a snow sculpting contest, ice diving demonstrations (both days, presented by Rich Morin’s Professional Scuba Center), giant kite flying on the ice and animals from Breezy Hill Alpaca Farm at Shepard Park both days.
Of course, Saturday, Feb. 14 is Valentine’s Day and the Lake George area has many fine dining options to choose from.
Two days of sanctioned car races on the ice are the main attraction for Weekend III (Feb. 21-22). There’s also a Chowder Cook-off on Saturday (noon, Shepard Park Beach) and a Tavern Competition at 1 p.m. Sunday (hosted by Mario’s Restaurant, 668-2665).
The ATV run/Scavenger Hunt on Saturday (registration 9-11 a.m. at Duffy’s), ice diving demonstrations and animals from Breezy Hill Alpaca Farm are also on the schedule this weekend.
The Carnival concludes Feb. 28-March 1 with 4-by-4 Truck Races both days and a chicken wing cook-off at noon Saturday at the Shepard Park Beach. Dogsled rides on the lake will be offered Saturday, and ice diving demonstrations will be held both days.
A raffle drawing will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1 at the beach.
All activities are held weather and ice permitting.
For more information call (518) 240-0809.