To the editor:
I just have to give a shoutout to Bob Seidenstein and the Blue Buns Wheel-A-Palooza. Bob’s contagious wackiness is one of the best parts of Winter Carnival, and of Saranac Lake in general. (Someone ought to nominate him for Carnival King …)
I lived in Lake Placid in the early 90s, but somehow word about Bob’s Free Spirits marching group in the Carnival parade traveled even to that far-off land. Of course, I dressed up as a purple cow and joined in. We were a motley crew — all dressed in different outfits and accompanied by a giant puppet. It was so much fun that it was part of the reason I settled in Saranac Lake when I moved back permanently in 1996.
At that point I told Bob that I had decided to live in Saranac Lake and be the town eccentric. He warned that I would have lots of competition, and boy was he right! (Not least from him.) Since then, the Free Spirits have morphed into the Brothers of the Bush, a group of men (and others), sporting beards both real and ersatz, who have marched and ridden and hot tubbed down Main Street in the Gala Parade, giving out Bubkes Bucks, even becoming as much of a fixture as the Lawn Chair Ladies.
I suspect by the time this letter is printed, pictures from the Wheel-A-Palooza will have been splashed all over the front page and everyone’s social media feed. Town eccentrics were on parade, on bicycles, in bathing suits, and it was a blast! I was well covered in ski pants and fleece under my boring bikini, but there were many in the crowd of 75 that were dressed for an actual dip, with lots of goosebumped skin showing and great accessories. And of course, at the end, all participants got cupcakes shaped like blue buns.
This pre-parade parade should be on everyone’s must-do list of Carnival activities next year. I don’t see myself showing any more skin next year, as I’m a wimp about the cold, but I am definitely going to up my game in the costume department, and I suspect there will be quite a few more than 75 free-spirited cyclists joining me.
Thank you, Bob, for an incredibly fun, inspired event.
P.S., The logo drawn by former Enterprise cartoonist Bruce Young was pretty awesome too.