Winter Carnival 2022 theme meeting tonight

Carnival committee choosing from five theme suggestions

The 2021 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace is topped with flags Thursday, Feb. 2, after construction was completed earlier in the day. There is a U.S. flag in the middle, a Canadian flag on one end and a Winter Carnival flag on the other. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — The Winter Carnival Committee will hold its first meeting of the year tonight to select a theme for the 2022 Winter Carnival and elect members to its executive committee.

The meeting will be held at the Elks Lodge at 30 Bloomingdale Ave. at 5:30 p.m.

Carnival theme selection is usually done in the spring, but Winter Carnival Committee Chair Jeff Branch said it was postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. He said this won’t change much, except the committee will have to quickly send the chosen theme to cartoonist and Saranac Lake native Garry Trudeau so he can start work on the button and poster design.

The possible themes are Festival of Foolery, Fiesta, Lumber Jacks & Jills, Totally ’80s, and Wizards & Dragons.

These were chosen from suggestions emailed to committee members and commented on a post on the committee’s Facebook page.

“Those five stuck out,” Branch said.

He said the committee members had three or more suggestions each. Other popular choices were weeded out for things like copyright infringement and other disqualifying attributes.

Anyone who shows up to the meeting tonight can vote on the theme, Branch said.

“Here’s the thing about the Winter Carnival Committee: if you’re at a meeting, you’re on the committee,” Branch said. “Our bylaws are actually written that way.”

Branch said people will be asked to vouch for these theme choices and discuss them at the meeting before a vote is taken.

What Carnival will actually look like is still up in the air, he said, because of the ongoing pandemic. Branch said he’s having a hard time filling up parade slots. Most of Carnival’s paid talent comes from Canada, and it’s unclear if they’ll be allowed to travel here in February.

“It’s going to be another year like last year. We’re going to wait and see what happens,” Branch said. “We’re going to plan for the best and prepare for the worst. … But we need to get a little fun in our lives.”

Branch said all executive committee positions are up for reelection, as they are every year. He said there’s not often new candidates for the committee, but he said they’re always looking for fresh faces. The committee often has 10 members. It currently has nine, up from last year, when it only had seven.

He said these positions require year-round work.

“It’s a demanding job,” Branch said. “You’ve got to have thick skin. You’ve got to be committed.”

Branch said he’d love for someone to run for the executive vice chair position. He said he’s been the chair with no vice chair for three years now.

He wants someone to be ready to take his spot when he’s done.

“I’ve been solo for three years now, but I’ve been asking for somebody to step up,” he said. “I’d like for there to be a light at the end of the tunnel for me.”

There are no retirements he knows of.

“There’s plenty of people who talk about retiring every year, but they don’t, usually,” he said. “There’s usually never anybody to step up, so they usually stay on.”


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