Carry The Load to include paddling, biking this year

Memorial Day Weekend event slated for May 28

LAKE PLACID — What is becoming an annual Memorial Day walking tradition to honor the military will now also offer a paddle and bike option.

In its third year here in Lake Placid, a satellite Carry The Load rally event, one of dozens of local fundraiser rally events planned across the country for Memorial Day weekend, will take place Sunday May 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year people will be able to travel the circumference of Mirror Lake by boat and bike along with those who will be walking around the Mirror Lake sidewalk.

Local event organizer Stuart Hemsley raised the idea to the village board Monday at its regularly scheduled meeting. The board approved Hemsley’s request to use the Mid’s Park bandshell for the event.

“We are still getting the message out about restoring the true meaning of Memorial Day,” Hemsley said. “The first year, the (American) Legion, we were a little worried that we were going to take over for their (Memorial Day) celebration on Monday — all we’ve done is add (other firefighters) to walk in the parade alongside our volunteer firefighters.”

Those taking part in the event will step off each hour and begin their march around the lake beginning at Mid’s Park, heading counter-clockwise down Parkside Drive and around Mirror Lake Drive.

Hemsley said those interested in paddling would be able to bring or rent their own canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard, though they’d only be required to wear a personal flotation device. Hemsley added that a free concert in Mid’s Park at 3 p.m. is also planned.

Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said current and planned village construction and public works projects around the southeast portion of Mirror Lake may still be going on during the event. He said the plan is for the village’s work on Parkside Drive near the village beach to be complete and/or cleaned up by May 28, though village crews may be beginning sidewalk repairs in the vicinity of the Lake Placid Club boathouse around that time.

“They may at that point be removing the sidewalks between the boat house restaurant and the beach park for that part of the project,” Randall said.

In past years, more than 17,000 people have taken part nationwide as registered participants in Carry The Load, and more than 74,000 people have attended across the country.