SARANAC LAKE — Record crowds and unprecedented participation cast lasting impressions from Saranac Lake Winter Carnival 2014.
The closing weekend this year called thousands to village streets for the Gala Parade, to slip, slide and ski and to see the Celtic Carnival Ice Palace.
Carnival Committee spokeswoman Colleen O’Neill felt the entire 10-day celebration was a wild success.
“We had record attendance at our Ice Palace, fireworks displays and parade,” she said Tuesday.
“The new event, Arctic Golf, was a huge hit with all ages. We had nearly 350 people participate within a four-hour time frame. It will definitely be on the event schedule for 2015.
“Overall, the 2014 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival was filled with many new successes: our new Carnival Committee Chairman Eric Foster, our new logo, website, Arctic Golf event, partnership with Empire State Development Division of Tourism and many new faces who came out to enjoy this wonderful tradition.”
O’Neill is already looking toward next year’s festivities, which will run Feb. 6 through 15.
Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau was likewise enthralled.
“Oooh baby,” he said of the crowds and organized commotion downtown.
“Our Police Chief Bruce Nason reports that he has no accurate figure for attendance over the 4 square miles of village, but the crowds on both weekends were comparable and larger than in years past,” Rabideau said.
“I love our Winter Carnival. It’s a magical time, when we let loose, greet new and old friends and express it all in the simple two-word greeting we give to everyone we meet: ‘Happy Carnival.’”
Rabideau has organized a debriefing session with Nason, Village Manager John Sweeney and Department of Public Works Superintendent Jeff Dora to assess the event’s growth and how best to respond next year.
The first weekend of carnival met with extraordinary public-works challenges due to a severe water-main break on Park Avenue and a structure fire at the corner of Broadway and Bloomingdale Avenue.