LAKE GEORGE - Without a doubt, people will be lined up outside Lake George High School Saturday - perhaps before dawn - and while passersby may be confused, locals know this is merely a March tradition here.
This spring ritual involves waiting for hours in line to buy tickets to see the school's most famous graduate, Rachael Ray, up close.
Rachael Ray - celebrity cook, talk show host, author, magazine mogul and 1986 Lake George High School graduate - will be giving her annual cooking demonstration and fan reception 7 p.m. Thursday April 22 in the high school.
The event is followed by a complimentary buffet with professional chefs preparing Ray recipes on-site.
The event is a fundraiser for the Lake George Alumni Association
Annually a sellout, tickets go on sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 20. Tickets cost $25, and there's a limit of six per person.
For prior shows, local women waited in line as early as 4:30 a.m., and tickets sold out within two hours.
This year, the line will be forming at the high school's Canada St. entrance. No pre-orders of tickets or phone sales are accepted.
Association representatives have praised Ray's generosity, noting the celebrity has annually donated her valuable time plus made other substantial donations to the event.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to local charities - the S.P.C.A and area food pantries - as well as to Ray's Purrs & Paws campaign.
The Association has raised about $90,000 in the last nine years, most all of it proceeds from Rachael Ray's shows.
Following the demonstrations, Ray has traditionally greeted fans one-by-one, autographing her books.
In past years, Ray has been known to stay after her cooking demonstrations for hours to greet fans and sign all the autographs they requested.
For details on the event, call 668-5452 Ext. 1019.