SARANAC LAKE - The ice is thick, the temperatures are low, and there's snow aplenty; that's right, February is here, and with it comes the 112th installment of the Sararnac Lake Winter Carnival.
This year's theme is "Pirates of the Adirondacks," and the celebration kicks off Friday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. with the Coronation of this year's Winter Carnival Royal Court at the Harrietstown Town Hall.
Grand Marshal: Jerry Cavallo
Jerry was born and raised in Saranac Lake. He graduated from Saranac Lake High School and went on to college at Plattsburg State. Jerry and his brother, Joe Jr., are third generation owners of the Belvedere Restaurant which has been in operation since 1933. Jerry and his wife Joanne have been married for 33 years and are the proud parents of two children, Chris and Alyssa.
Being part of the Carnival Court is somewhat of a family tradition as Jerry was a member of the Carnival Court in 1974, with Chris a member in 2004 and Alyssa a member in 2005.
"Winter Carnival is the best two weeks of the year as it brings friends and family together for one common cause," said Jerry. "Winter Carnival promotes Saranac Lake as the best place to be from. It is an honor to be chosen as the 2009 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Grand Marshal and I am looking forward to all the festivities that Carnival has to offer."
Chamberlain: Eric Bennet
Eric, the son of Ralph and Liz Bennett and sibling to Todd and Lynn, was born in Saranac Lake. He graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1991 and from Union College in 1995. Eric received his Master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1998 and has taught English in Saranac Lakefor the last eight years.
In addition to teaching, Eric spends his summers playing rugby for the Mountaineers and is president of the club and captain of the men's side. He is also the Offensive Coordinator for the Red Storm varsity football team and took great pleasure this last fall when the team beat his darling wife's alma mater, Peru, at Peru! In June, Eric married the beautiful and engaging Janelle Hughes on Lower Saranac.
Archbishop: Katy Van Anden
Katy was born and raised in Saranac Lake. She is a graduate of Saranac Lake High School and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts from which she earned a degree in Event Management and Marketing. Katy enjoyed the Winter Carnival traditions and activities while growing up. She created many memories that will last a lifetime while on the 2002 Winter Carnival Court. This year will be her second year choreographing for the Winter Carnival Court. She feels it has truly been an honor to work with such great kids as they bring so much enthusiasm and charisma to the Winter Carnival events.
Katy is the daughter of John and Buffy Van Anden, owners of Lakeview Deli, and sister to Johnny, a senior at St. Lawrence University. She is currently an event planner, spending time in the Berkshires coordinating large weddings, galas, and parties in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts.
Prince: Levi Santagate
Levi Santagate was raised in Paul Smiths and home schooled in the Saranac Lake Community. He will graduate from North Country Community College in May 2009 with an Associate of Science Degree in Wilderness Recreation Leadership. Levi has been extremely active in the outdoors. He has explored the Adirondacks extensively, secured a position with The Appalachian Mountain Club as a professional trail crew member, is certified as a Wilderness First responder and has completed several multi-week bicycle tours throughout the Northeast and Canada.
Levi has worked on the Ice Palace, assisted with the Cross Country Ski Races and volunteered at a soup kitchen in Montreal. He intends to continue his education at the University of Iowa studying crisis management and has a further interest in Wilderness Medicine. He will be pursuing a Wilderness EMT designation this spring and intends to return to the AMC trail crews next summer as a medical advisor.He is the son of Nic and Tracy Santagate and has a brother, Cori.
Princess: Christina Sun Kok
Christina Sun Kok was born in Rochester, NY and graduated from Churchville-Chili High School. She expects to graduate from Paul Smith's College in May 2009 with a degree in Hotel, Travel and Tourism Management. She is employed by Paul Smith's College as a Resident Assistant. Christina's special interests include basketball, camping and kayaking, as well as mountain climbing. She also rides bicycles, a dirt bike and a motorcycle. She has volunteered in the Relay for Life, the International Coastal Clean-up and the Light the Night Leukemia Walk.
After graduation, Christina would like to make a career in event planning at resorts or for a cruise line. Christina is a first generation of Cambodian ancestry and is fluent in Khmer, the Cambodian language. She is the daughter of Socheytha and Montha Kok and is the middle child between siblings Thary and Justin.
Attendants to the King and Queen:
Steven Burpoe & Corine Becker
Steven is the son of Tim Burpoe and Sue Cherny. Steven is the middle brother of three, falling between older brother Joe and younger brother Michael. This gives him "middle child status" which explains his idiosyncrasies. Steven has been captain of each of the three sports he plays: football, basketball and baseball. He has been active in men's ensemble, the musicals and a variety of other clubs. He plans to attend college in the fall - hopefully some place will take him.
Corine is the daughter of Dale and Cass Becker and the sister of Alex. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Women's Ensemble and secretary of the senior class. Corrine is also a three-sport athlete, playing soccer and running indoor and outdoor track and field. Next year she plans to study sports medicine and run track in college. Corrine is honored to be a member of the 2009 Winter Carnival Court and wishes everyone a happy carnival.
Royal Court Couples:
Nick McGrath & Emily Lennon
Nick is the youngest of a large, close-knit family. His parents, Patricia and Charles "Nick" McGrath oversee the whole family show. Being the baby of the family, Nick has been looked after by his two brothers, John and Jeremy and coddled by his sisters, Katie and Molly. Nick is a three sport athlete who has participated in football, hockey and golf throughout his high school career.
He has also been a cast member of the senior play and has been editor-in-chief of the yearbook. Nick plans to attend college next year to pursue a career as a special education teacher. He feels honored and privileged to have been chosen as a member of the 2009 Winter Carnival Court and wishes every a happy carnival.
Emily is the daughter of Debra and Timothy Lennon and the sister of Eliza. She is a member of the National Honor Society and vice president of the Class of 2009. She is a three-sport athlete playing soccer, volleyball and lacrosse and is an avid Redstorm football fan. Next year she plans to attend college, wherever they accept her, to study medicine. She would like to thank all of her wonderful friends and family for making all of her past Winter Carnivals so fun, and hopes to make this year the best yet.
Jonathon Barge & Cayla Cluckey
Jonathan is the son of his loving parents, John and Cindy Barge. He is one of five kids and wouldn't trade Elizabeth, Aaron, Ethan or Jeremy for anyone (most of the time). Jon was actually home-schooled until 8th grade by his mother, who was an amazing teacher, but for the past four years he has thoroughly enjoyed the wonders of the outside world. He is a three sport athlete who is also involved in men's ensemble, chorus, the senior play, musicals and numerous other activities. Jon is interested in engineering and will hopefully find a school and a town that will compare to Saranac Lake. He also hopes everyone has a phenomenal Winter Carnival.
Cayla is the daughter of Amy and Bill Cluckey and the sister of David. She is an athlete who has enjoyed playing soccer, basketball, track and lacrosse. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was previously a Winter Carnival Court page. She plans to attend college in the fall where she will major in education. Cayla would like to thank everyone involved for making this experience so wonderful and she wishes all of you a superdeeduper Winter Carnival. And, oh yeah... go Buffalo Sabres! (Her father wanted her to add that).
Allen Ashlaw & Veronique Parker
Allen Jr. is the son of Allen and Maria Ashlaw of Ashburn, Virginia and Tracy Mauler of Saranac Lake, who has "adopted" him for his senior year. He is the brother of Sara, Tony, Jonathan, Jon and Ashley. Allen enjoys four-wheelers and sports. He has played football, basketball and lacrosse during his four years at Saranac Lake High School. Allen plans to pursue a criminal justice degree in college next year.
Veroniqueis the daughter of Webster Parker and Moira Kaldany and the sister of Jacqueline Parker. Veronique moved to Saranac Lake from Sydney, Australia and began kindergarten at St. Bernard's School. She loves soccer, chorus, volleyball and playing the flute. She has a fascination with the stars and universe and hopes to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering or astrophysics. Being on the Winter Carnival Court is a great conclusion to having grown up with the event and having had some of her earliest memories be of the fireworks and meeting the "characters" at the awesome Ice Palace.
Grant Stevens & Maegan Meade
Grant is the son of the late Jeffrey and Dawn Stevens. Originally from Florida, he now lives in Saranac Lake with his aunt and uncle, Craig and Renee Stevens, and his cousins, Jeff and Kate. Grant is involved in drama, football and lacrosse. He does the announcements at school. After graduation, Grant plans to pursue a career in psychology. He wants to stay in New York for college because the winters up here are amazing.
Maegan is the daughter of Melinda Fink and Daniel Meade and stepdaughter to Roger Fink. She is the younger sister of Brittany and Chelsey. She has loved to play hockey ever since she was little and wants to continue playing when she goes to college. Maegan is hoping to attend the University of New England where she will pursue a career in nursing. Having been involved with the Winter Carnival for several years now, Maegan really appreciates being on the court.
Eamon Kemp & Sara Preston
Eamon, the son of Tim Kemp and Suzanne Miller, is a life-long resident of Saranac Lakeand is honored to have been chosen for the 2009 Winter Carnival Court. Eamon enjoys good food, great music, and, above all, his friends, family and snowboarding. He plans to attend either Niagara University or Castleton State College in the fall to pursue a career in biology. Some day Eamon would like to see the world from space, have tea with the Dali Lama and hopes that the world will one day enjoy semi-popular eighties and nineties one-hit wonders as much as he does.
Sara is the daughter of Richard and Patricia Preston and the little sister of Josh Preston. Along with her multiple extracurricular activities, Sara is a three-sport athlete and a member of the National Honor Society. She hopes to pursue the study of pre-med and genetics at a university that's a little bit warmer than Saranac Lake. She loves spending time with her friends and family and is excited to share this experience with them. She wants to thank all those who make the Winter Carnival possible and wishes everyone a happy carnival!
Dan Sweet & Heleni Kuma
Dan is the son of Amy and Bob Sweet and brother of Katy Sweet. He is also the owner of the fifth member of the family, their little Chihuahua, Poco. In the fall Dan plays football, in the winter he snowboards and in the spring he plays lacrosse. After graduating with the Class of 2009, Dan hopes to attend a college somewhere. Although he doesn't know what he wants to major or minor in yet, he is looking forward to exploring the world beyond Saranac Lake.
Heleni is the daughter of Sally Tuthill and the little sister of Ashlee Kuma. She is a four season athlete with volleyball and rugby being her favorite sports. She loves animals, children and traveling, but she is not sure which path she wants to pursue. She loves being with friends and family, especially hanging out with her favorite cousins, Jazzmyn and Jamaal. Heleni is thrilled to be on the Winter Carnival Court and wishes everyone a great carnival.
Royal Court Spokespersons:
Kurt Casler & Emily Martin
Kurt is the son of Kenneth and Sheila Casler and brother of Keefe, Kris and Kristie Casler. He enjoys being active biking and playing soccer with his friends and on a team. He also enjoys drawing in his spare time. He hopes to carry this skill to an art school and succeed in establishing a career in graphic design or animation.
Emily is the daughter of Michael and Marlene Martin and the older sister of Matthew. She is a member of the National Honor Society and loves running cross country and track. Emily is also involved with the senior play, the Environmental Club and the United Methodist Church Youth Group. After graduation, Emily hopes to run cross country in college and go into the biology or medical field. Emily is thrilled to be on the court this year with all of her wonderful classmates and would like to thank her family and friends for all their love and support. She wishes everyone an amazing 2009 Winter Carnival.
Max Campbell, Bryan Sullivan, Dermott Morgan, Kailee McCormick, Jayda Buckley, and Madison Brown
The 2009 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Court Advisors are Sue Rice & Dawne Pietras.
For more information about the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, or for an interactive schedule and webcam, visit www.saranaclakewintercarnival.com