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Mountains & Valleys

MOUNTAIN — to a fantastic First Night Saranac Lake on New Year’s Eve. Venues were packed, often having to turn people away. The performers rose to the occasion, and audiences were into it, dancing and listening to music and laughing along with comedy and kids acts. It was as good as it gets, a wonderful demonstration of the spirit of this community and the people who choose to come here.

MOUNTAIN — to the Empire State Winter Games (Jan. 30 to Feb. 2) and Saranac Lake Winter Carnival (Jan. 31 to Feb. 9), two big events coming up on the local calendar. Last year’s ESWG drew more than 2,100 athletes from a wide range of ages, and from other states and nations beyond New York. Locally run ever since the state government dropped it, these games are better than ever and include 30 winter sports events. As for Carnival … as we speak, Saranac Lakers are preparing their parade floats and keeping the snow off Pontiac Bay, hoping the ice thickens up in time to cut it for the Ice Palace. That leads us to …

VALLEY — for a continuation (so far) of December’s mild winter weather, which makes us worry about the Ice Palace. It also prevents people from doing many of the outdoor activities that make winter enjoyable, such as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sledding and ice skating. Sure, people who don’t do any of those things are probably glad it’s not cold, but we’re ready for what makes winter winter.

VALLEY — for the death of a 21-year-old man from Pennsylvania who crashed while skiing at Whiteface Mountain with members of his family on Dec. 23. He died from injuries suffered in that crash. He was so young — we feel terribly for his family and wish them as much solace as is possible in this terrible time.

MOUNTAIN — Getting back to Winter Carnival, we hear many people raving about this year’s poster by Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau, saying it’s their favorite in many years. We love it, too: the old-style script for the “Myths and Legends” theme, the flying unicorn, Excalibur held aloft by a hand poking through a hole in a frozen lake — it’s all very fantastical and fun. Good job, Garry.

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