LAKE GEORGE - This weekend the annual Lake George Winter Carnival will be wrapping up its 2010 month-long run with a brand-new signature event and a host of family oriented activities, Carnival organizers said Monday.
Headlining the two-day winter festival - as long as there's enough snow on the ground - will be the first annual Lake George Sanctioned Sled Dog Races, in which competitors earn points towards national and international championships.
The races will be conducted both Saturday and Sunday by the New England Sled Dog Club, beginning at 9 a.m. both days, according to NESDC member Rainer Wischinski of southern New Hampshire.
That is, if there's 8 inches of snow accumulated on the ground by Wednesday mid-afternoon, he said. Tuesday at the same time, forecasts predicted that snowfall would make it happen, Carnival official Kathi Kokalas said.
"At this point, I think it's definitely a 'go'," she said.
Wischinski said he looked forward to his club's debut at Lake George, recalling a race his group held about eight years ago in Warrensburg. The club attends races all over the Northeastern U.S. and across Canada.
If snow falls as predicted, 30 or more sled dog teams will be competing in a dozen or so classes, Wischinski said. The races are to be held on the Warren County snowmobile trails in Lake George off Transfer Rd. and Rte. 9 near Northway Exit 21, Wischinski said.
"We have quite some interest from competitors in coming to Lake George," he said. "It's a great area, and a great trail."
Also, Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club will be back to hold their sanctioned sports car ice races Saturday and Sunday on the surface of Lake George.
The races evoke spectator adrenaline, with vehicles careening around curves, inches away from each other, spewing rooster-tails of ice-shards from beneath spinning tires.
This longstanding races series features classic sports cars in various states of modification. Crowds of motor-sports enthusiasts enjoy not only the competition, but friendly chatting about the vehicles, their modifications and preparation for the races. Registration is at Longshots Restaurant.
Also a treat for spectators on Saturday only will be a Skydiving Swoop Competition. Sunkiss Ballooning will have a "Fly Off" on Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 am, weather permitting. A Hot Air Balloon MoonGlow is also tentatively scheduled at dusk Saturday on the Lake, weather permitting. The Carnival's annual Chili Cook Off will take place at noon Saturday near the Shepard's Park pier, and Rich Moran's Professional Scuba Center personnel will be performing ice diving demonstrations both days.
Those who seek participatory sports can enjoy trying their hand at Frisbee Golf, from noon to 2 p.m. both days - sponsored by Pottersville's Natural Stone Bridges & Caves.
Other events planned are tethered hot air balloon rides in the morning, hot air balloon "Walk-Abouts", children's activities and face painting, the latter located inside at King Neptune's, plus ATV hay rides, games on the ice, wood carving, and a children's petting zoo Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Both days, the daredevil snowmobile water skip will be held at 2:30 p.m. followed by the ever-popular Polar Plunge at 3 p.m. To top off the conclusion of the Winter Carnival, a raffle drawing will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sunday for a 2010 Polaris 550 snowmobile. Raffle tickets are available at the Winter Carnival headquarters in Shepard's Park, and entrants do not have to be present to win.
"We've had three incredible weekends of Winter Carnival activities so far this year, so join us this final weekend for 2010," Kokalas said.