LAKE GEORGE - As the last weekend of the 2009 Lake George Winter Carnival approaches, event organizers said they're expecting more good weather for their long lineup of events.
Headlining the weekend are the ice races of the Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club.
Scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday, the races are a carnival tradition, drawing thousands of spectators, carnival official Linda Duffy said Monday.
"Its a great group of people that put on an exciting race each year," she said.
The races feature a wide variety of modified sports cars, whether its a 1960s Triumph or a vintage Saab, careening and skidding on ice around a convoluted race track off Million Dollar Beach.
Both Saturday and Sunday, activities include tethered hot air balloon rides starting at 8:30 a.m. (weather permitting), and a variety of children's activities and games on the ice from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A giant ice slide in Shepard Park is available during daylight hours over the weekend.
Snowmobile rides will be offered both days from noon to 2 p.m. Also planned are dog-sled rides all day, both days.
Saturday features a Chili Cook-off, noon to 2 p.m. at Shepard Park Beach.
New this year - and very popular - is a children's petting zoo from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Shepard Park Beach, and wood-carving demonstrations during the same time.
And then there are the traditional daredevil feats that have been associated with the Lake George Winter Carnival for decades.
On both Saturday and Sunday will be a snowmobile water skip demonstration at 2:30 p.m., in which a sled careens across the open water - with spectators in suspense over whether the speeding sled will sink.
Scheduled for 3 p.m. both days is the polar plunge event, in which dozens of people of all ages dash in and out of the water - or take a lengthy swim in the chilly waters near Shepard Park.
Saturday, skydivers will be parachuting out of airborne craft, landing on the ice as they present their aerial show.
Both Saturday and Sunday, the Beckler family of Pottersville will be demonstrating a game of Frisbee golf, and welcoming people to test their expertise. The Becklers offer Frisbee golf at their attraction Stone Bridge & Caves near Pottersville.
This past weekend, a large crowd attended the weekend filled with activities, whether it was a flag football tournament or watching a group of kite-flying enthusiasts launch their creative, colorful aircraft.
Carnival Ed Kokalas said more than 100 people watched a team of ice divers plunge into the waters all day long, both Saturday and Sunday.
The ATV poker run had 160 entrants, and the accompanying ATV scavenger hunt was popular too, he said.
Eight local restaurants participated in Sunday's barbecue cook-off. The pulled pork of Prospect Mountain Diner won first place, JC Montana was runner up with their smoked pulled pork, followed by Garrison's Restaurant in third place with their savory pork riblets.
Saturday, ideal weather drew large crowds, Kokalas said, noting that Sunday attendance was lower due to the prevailing snowstorm, which didn't deter the polar swimmers.
"Saturday, we were slammed," he said.
Duffy said that a variety of factors conspired to make the carnival as successful as it's been in 2009.
"It's the first year in five or six years that Mother Nature has cooperated with us," she said. "We have good, thick ice, great weather, a lot of free events and new family-type activities - and we're getting great feedback from people."