Happy Winter Carnival!

Winter Carnival is back, and we’re ready to get Roman.

Carnival always brings a holiday-like atmosphere to Saranac Lake, a welcome celebration to break up the long winter.

We’re excited to see what could be the first fully-back-to-normal Carnival since the coronavirus pandemic began. For the first time in two years, the annual Rotary Club variety show is returning in person. Friday’s coronation of the Winter Carnival King and Queen was open to the public again, following last year’s invite-only, livestreamed event.

We’re looking forward to checking out some of the new stuff going on around town, like the Blue Buns Wheel-A-Palooza on Sunday, a bathing suit bike ride organized by Enterprise columnists Bob Seidenstein and Jack Drury; the new family night event at the Ice Palace on Wednesday; the “Roman Around Carnival” fashion show at The Garagery on Tuesday and the amateur comedy night, also at the Garagery, on Thursday. We’re also excited for classic Carnival events to return, like the Ladies Fry Pan Toss, Heat Keepers Icicle Contest and Women’s Civic Chamber Corn-a-ment today and the Gala Parade next Saturday.

This year’s schedule is packed with plenty of activities, as per usual — everything from skating to scavenger hunts and live music. A full schedule is available at www.saranaclakewintercarnival.com/schedule and in the calendar on page A5 and A10 of today’s Enterprise. If you’re going outside to enjoy the Carnival festivities today, make sure to really bundle up, limit time spent outdoors and take some precautions — the National Weather Service is predicting frigid temperatures with wind chill values as low as -47 degrees, so there’s an increased possibility of frost bite.

Winter Carnival was started in the 1890s by tuberculosis patients, for whom the fresh-air cure succeeded. They spent winters sitting on cure porches: bundled up, inactive and sick. When some got better, they were ready to stretch their limbs and celebrate life — they wanted to socialize, play sports, eat, drink, flirt, what have you. They had just beaten a terminal illness and wanted to live it up.

That spirit lives on, and so does the spirit of this community — the residents of this place are what makes Carnival continue to be so special each year.

The Winter Carnival coronation on Friday evening officially kicked things off. Congratulations to this year’s Winter Carnival king and queen, Marty Rowley and Patti Ploof.

Here’s to a happy Winter Carnival, everyone!


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