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Snowshoe fest at the VIC, Dewey

SARANAC LAKE — The 2018 Adirondack Snowshoe Fest will happen in two places: Dewey Mountain Recreation Center in Saranac Lake and at the Paul Smith’s College VIC.

“Spread the word — it should be fun,” said Richard Shapiro, who with his wife Lindy Ellis helped organize the events.

There will be 5-and 10-kilometer races for competitive snowshoers, as well as fun family events both days. Saturday, Feb. 24 events at Dewey Mountain kick off with a guided snowshoe tour at 10 a.m., followed by the Shoe-Be-Doo 5K and the 10K race at 1 p.m. Awards will be given at 3 p.m.

On Saturday night at Dewey Mountain, the Snowshoe Stomp will be a casual walk on the trails, with bonfires and hot chocolate at waystations, and a gathering with chili and cornbread in the lodge.

“There will be snowshoes available for loan for free,” Shapiro said.

On Sunday Feb. 25 the festival moves to the VIC, a Paul Smith’s College facility where 5K and 15K races begin at 10:30 a.m. A winter Forest Bathing event will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No hot tubs will be involved.

At 12:30 p.m. the Naturalist Snowshoe Walk will explore trails at the VIC, and at 1 p.m., winners of the races will be announced.

The festival wraps up with a screening of “Saving Snow” at 1:30 p.m. The 53-minute film by Diogo Freire is about how climate change affects small communities dependent on winter weather.

In February 2017, Freire set out to film the village of Hayward, Wisconsin, as it hosted the American Birkebeiner, the longest cross-country ski marathon in North America.

The “Birkie,” which draws as many as 10,000 people to Hayward, was canceled after several weeks of unseasonably warm weather. In a development many in Saranac Lake will identify with, race organizers gathered enough snow to cover a 5K loop and threw an impromptu festival anyway. The film tells many more stories of how similar communities are coping with climate change. Freire used crowdfunding to finance the film, which premieres Feb. 24 across the country.

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