5 Winter Carnival themes to choose from

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SARANAC LAKE — The Winter Carnival Committee on Tuesday offered the public five options to discuss for next year’s theme:

¯ Frozen Fiesta

¯ Under the Big Top

¯ Candy Carnival

¯ Totally ’80s

¯ Chinese New Year.

People will be able to vote for their favorite of the five options in next week’s Enterprise Web Poll, between Monday morning, March 27 to Monday morning, April 3. Committee members will take the poll results, social media comments and personal comments into account when they meet in late April to make their final decision on next year’s theme.

This committee, which organizes Saranac Lake’s 120-year-old Winter Carnival, narrowed down well over 100 theme ideas to these five at its meeting Tuesday evening, more than a month after the end of this year’s Carnival and its “Adirondack Wildlife” theme. The committee volunteers met at Saranac Lake High School’s large group instruction room. Committee Chairman Jeff Branch presided, and member Clyde Baker kept track of the theme ideas and voting.

Members went through the entire list of suggestions, which included two pages of new ones gathered for 2018, a page left over from past years and new ones members suggested at the meeting. They started by together weeding out duplicates, themes that have been done before, suggestions with copyright issues and ones that got no support from the committee.

They revisited each remaining idea, and each committee member had five votes to use on them as they were called out. Ideas that got just one or no votes were scratched, which left 14 options. Then they did another round, this time giving each member only three votes. The top five vote getters from that round became the finalists.

Fiesta and circus themes have been repeat finalists in recent years, enjoying strong support from certain committee members. Liz Murray and Barbara Martin in particular lobbied good-naturedly for some kind of fiesta theme. Martin at one point stood to suggest new ideas, and as she did so, each of them had the word “fiesta” in it.

Here are the results of the committee’s final vote tally:

¯ Frozen Fiesta — 10 votes

¯ Under the Big Top — 8

¯ Candy Carnival — 7

¯ Totally ’80s — 5

¯ Chinese New Year — 5

¯ Prehistoric Park — 4

¯ New York, New York — 4

¯ Masquerade — 2

¯ Wizards and Dragons — 2

¯ an Egyptian theme — 2

¯ Farm Animals — 1

¯ Fairy tales — 0

¯ Vikings — 0

¯ Rockin’ the ’70s/disco — 0

Some theme finalists prompted discussion regarding sensitivity. Colleen O’Neill, who handles the committee’s public relations and social media, said that in the past many people have expressed worry about clowns in a circus theme, since many children are afraid of them. She also wondered aloud whether the Chinese New Year theme might prompt people to do things that some people might consider offensive, noting that the committee has had similar discussions about ethnic sensitivity regarding how people might portray Mexicans with a fiesta theme.

Most committee members ended up saying they would like to see what the public says about the five theme finalists, and that if concerns arise, that might affect their final decision in April.

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