The best time of year for Saranac Lakers

Tomorrow begins the best time of the year for Saranac Lakers. Winter Carnival has long provided a fun break from a long, cabin-fever-inducing winter.

If you haven’t been here for Carnival in a while, come this year. Bring a friend. Bring two.

Coronation launches the Carnival at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Harrietstown Town Hall. It’s an event we dearly love — almost surreal in its small-town-ness.

Then this year’s “Myths and Legends”-themed Carnival will hit its full intensity Saturday with all kinds of fun events, such as the Ladies Fry Pan Toss, Arctic (mini) Golf, Icicle Contest, Flowerball, Yeti Hunt — yes, really — bake sales, woodsmen’s exhibitions and loads of winter sports, from skiing to skating to ultimate frisbee. There are also loads of concerts, from classical in the daytime to rock ‘n’ roll at the bars by night.

Then there’s the Ice Palace, our stunning showpiece, and its lighting with fireworks Saturday night.

And that’s just the first weekend.

There are always too many Carnival events to list them all, but here are some mid-week happenings that don’t happen every year. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Pendragon Theatre, local musicians will put on a special show by called “Life, Love, & Legends — a Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir.” On Wednesday night at the Saranac Lake Baptist Church, Seth McGowan of the Adirondack Sky Center in Tupper Lake will present “Mythology of the Night Sky.” On Thursday night at the Saranac Laboratory’s John Black Room, Historic Saranac Lake will screen “The Silver Chalice,” which had its world premiere at Saranac Lake’s Pontiac Theatre in 1954.

Then begins the second weekend, starting Friday, Feb. 7 with winter games and the Rotary Show, which puts a weird vaudeville spin on Coronation’s vibe.

Of course, the Gala Parade is always a highlight, drawing thousands of people from all over on Saturday, Feb. 8. The next night closes with the fireworks and the outdoor slideshow — the last ever run by longtime Carnival photographer Mark Kurtz.

We also would like to note that there are five scheduled screeings of the wonderful documentary film “Ice Palace, a Love Letter” during Carnival: this Saturday at the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid and the Hotel Saranac, and next weekend at the Trudeau Sanatorium’s Auditorium. We highly recommend seeing it, if you haven’t already. Check the Enterprise calendar for times and prices.

A guide to the activities and the royalty is tucked inside today’s paper; you can pick up extra copies at our office at 54 Broadway. Also in today’s paper, the Weekender section features a great live music preview for Carnival this year. The paper’s main section carries Carnival news every day, and to pull it all together online, we have a Winter Carnival news category on the homepage of our website.

Saturday’s newspaper will announce the new king and queen, and Monday’s issue will be full of photos and news of the weekend’s activities. And we’ll keep covering Carnival events all week. We’ll publish tons of photos in print, but on top of that we’ll post plenty of photo galleries on our CU website, CU.AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com.

In other words, the Enterprise is — and always has been — the essential, go-to source of Carnival information. May it ever be so. The first Carnival, in 1897, was reported on the front page of this newspaper, which had started publication two years earlier. Good traditions go well together.