Press-Republican

October 31, 2013

No. 1 Halloween Town: Lake Placid

KIM SMITH DEDAM
Press-Republican

LAKE PLACID — Park the skates, sleds and skis for a day. Just one. 

The Olympic Village has earned a new, albeit a bit spooky, designation: No. 1 Best Town for Halloween.

The cachet was bestowed by Travel and Leisure Magazine in its October online edition.

Cited among traits that make this village a Halloween mark are the 5K Zombie Walk, which took place last weekend; the Trek-n-Treat pub crawl; and the annual staging of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

The longtime Main Street trick-or-treat for youngsters, taking place today, also drew the national travel magazine’s eye.

“I’m used to getting winter kinds of inquiries from national media, so it was an interesting inquiry for sure,” said Kim Reilly, spokeswoman for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), who also oversees marketing communications. 

“It’s kind of neat that it is outside our marketing messaging.”

Events such as Ironman, horse shows and lacrosse often draw media inquiries, she said.

“But this is the first time that I can remember fielding an inquiry about Halloween.”

‘COMMUNITY SPIRIT’

The “boos” that may be heard wafting along Main Street on Halloween are not meant for disapproval. They aren’t the groans of sports fans hoping for a win.

They are sounds of goblins taking over the street in an annual costume parade tradition.

Main Street businesses will open their doors Thursday to schoolchildren dressed in spooky or otherwise wild disguise, wandering down the cobbled sidewalks, looking for treats.

“These Halloween celebrations are a terrific example of the community spirit that makes Lake Placid not just a great place to visit but a wonderful place to live,” Reilly mused.

UNRULY ‘ROCKY HORROR’

Matt Sorenson, box-office manager at LPCA, directs the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” revue. He was instrumental in establishing the evening performance, which features local actors delivering live-action scenes as the movie runs on a big screen in the background. 

Guests are provided with prop bags for some unruly “Rocky Horror” interaction.

“It was created for the Community Theatre Players a few years ago — there was some interest among a group of us to give it a shot,” Sorensen said of the Halloween trick that has become a real treat for theater-goers in the region.

“It really clicked. There is a market for the performance here, and it was a surprise to some of us. The first two years, we sold out completely — with waiting lists. 

“We did quite well this year, again.”

Proceeds from “Rocky Horror” ticket sales support the Community Theatre Players, the Tri-Lakes-based troupe of actors.

“It’s a lot of fun, just putting it together in the first place, and casting is quite an experience.”

“Rocky Horror” went off last weekend without a hitch.

“We surely have a lot of great entertainment coming up here at the center for the rest of the season,” Sorenson said.

LET IT SNOW

That Lake Placid’s Olympic and historic cachet took a unique turn this fall isn’t scary, Reilly said.

“This type of media exposure is always valuable — and we benefit from the amplification of that exposure on social media. In this case, I saw a lot of proud locals sharing the link to the Travel & Leisure article, too.

“As a tourism-dependent region, we should always remember that the goal is to maximize the economic impact of tourism in order to provide increased quality of life for residents.”

The likely motto here, though, after tricks and treats are done will be, “Let it snow.”

Travel and Leisure Magazine’s kudos are online here: 

http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-towns-for-halloween/2.

Email Kim Smith Dedam: kdedam@pressrepublican.com

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LAKE PLACID HALLOWEEN FUN

Here's today's lineup:

12:45 p.m.: Annual Halloween Parade.

1 to 3 p.m.: Main Street trick-or-treating.

3 to 5 p.m.: Halloween party for elementary-age kids at the Conference Center at Lake Placid.

6:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Halloween Dance for Lake Placid High School students at the Conference Center at Lake Placid, organized by the Lake Placid Police Department.