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December 6, 2011

Yule Log Hunt to rekindle historic holiday spirit

— Annual event highlighted by throwback Yule Log Hunt

LAKE PLACID — By KIM SMITH DEDAM

Holiday celebration weaves ancient tradition into new when Lake Placid turns up the cheer next weekend.

Special gifts are being tucked behind every door, treats made for every table, and packages at every hotel in preparation for Lake Placid's Holiday Village Stroll.

And this year, the Lake Placid Yule Log Hunt begins anew, hearkening back to the early 1900s, when Snobirds came to the Lake Placid Club to race through the streets in colorful capes in search of the hidden log to start the Christmas fire.

Village Stroll, a three-day weekend jam-packed with myriad things to do, began as a celebration three years ago. It has grown into a destination event, according to retail, restaurant and lodging proprietors.

PULLING TOGETHER

Some of the buzz comes from the busy schedule planned.

Some of it comes from the festooned streets themselves.

But most of it rises from an atmosphere of festive cooperation among Main Street businesses and most every town and village organization or group.

"Five years ago, the village business community started to plan for a single weekend, pulling together different events scattered across December and through the holidays," explained Jim Williams, a member of the Holiday Village Stroll committee and vice president of radio station WSLP.

"It's grown every single year. And we've added new activities to broaden our range even further this time. Most are family-oriented, but we started hearing last year that couples would love to come to Lake Placid in early December."

'THRILLING'

It is a usually quiet time before the holiday vacation crush, when barely a room remains open here.

"The first year when we pulled it together, we were looking for something for everyone to enjoy in what is an off period," explained Mary Jane Lawrence, marketing director at the Mirror Lake Inn, who helped conjure Village Stroll's magic. "Christmas and the week after are the busiest time of year here."

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