Two local teams, “Rustic Plumbing” (left) and another representing The Crossroads general store compete in the outhouse races held Saturday during Brant Lake Winter Carnival. A record number of 550 to 600 people attended the fest which featured a number of new events and activities. Photo by Brandon Himoff
An estimated 550 to 600 people participated in games, outdoor sports, contests, and activities of the Brant Lake Winter Carnival Saturday Feb. 8, easily surpassing the 400 or so attending the event in its debut year of 2013.
The event was sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Business Alliance, which has in recent years launched a variety of events — all considered remarkably successful — in northern Warren County.
The Carnival’s outhouse race on the ice of Brant Lake was a main attraction of the day-long event, drawing participants and spectators from as far away as the Capital Region to watch the action under sunny skies.
A new event — the ladies’ fry pan toss — attracted well over 100 participants, a number that surprised the event organizers, Alliance official Brandon Himoff said.
“We took the best events of last year and added more for this year,” he said.
The frying pans thrown by the ladies weren’t your average Farberware items — they were large, heavy steel skillets. But the female competitors had no problem propelling them long distances.
The women throwing first in the contest were at a disadvantage, as they heaved them high in the air, while those that followed attained more distance by flipping them low, letting them skid across the ice.
Winning top honors in the event’s under 45-year-old division was Kelly Talbot with 91 feet 6 inches. Capturing the over-45 honors was Rose Eddy with 85 feet, 10 inches.
Recording top times in the event were Jessica Meade, Jill Cook, Aron Maltbie, Heidi Hauchney and Heather Orber.
Horicon Town Supervisor Matt Simpson and Town Board member Bob Olson served as judges for the event. Olson said that next year, the event would include practice throws so competition would be more even-handed.
“But everyone had a lot of fun,” he continued.
Another new feature of the Brant Lake Winter Carnival was the vintage snowmobile display which included several sleds owned by Derek Monroe of Brant Lake. Capturing spectators’ interest was the 1965 Bolens Diablo Rouge Model, a lengthy contraption, jointed in the middle, that looked like a farm implement or a dated amusement ride.
Monroe’s vintage sleds, as well as a lineup of others from the early 1970s, spurred conversations at the event.
A good number of hardy souls competed in the snowshoe softball games, the broomball showdowns and the hockey shoot-outs.
The outhouse race featured fierce but friendly competition, with runners’ feet spraying rooster tails of ice shards as they pushed the homemade contraptions over the ice.
One leading competitor was a team representing Scott Remington and his Spinal Cord Research charity. A team of Scott’s family and friends propelled the outhouse named “Just an Accident” after Remington’s book detailing his logging accident in 1999 that left him paralyzed, and describes his subsequent commitment to charitable works. Scott’s daughter Jenna Remington rode in the outhouse, as John Remington, Adrian
Wood, Caleb Mead and Kyle Moffitt pushed the rig.
Near the finish line, however, a runner got tangled up in rope and fell, and the outhouse fell forward on the ice. The crowd gasped as Jenna Remington’s head crashed through the ouhouse roof, but she jumped up raising her arms in the air, assuring the cheering crowd she was uninjured.
Following the race, Scott Remington said his team was aiming to win in 2015.
“We didn’t win this year, but we put on a heck of a show!” he said.
Placing first in the race was the Chemo-De crew headed up by Linda Goodman of Hudson Falls, whose craft was named in honor of cancer patients undergoing chemo treatments. Her crew had raced last weekend, along with Amy Sabattis’ “Dump Dynasty” team which recorded faster times this weekend on Brant Lake. Runners for her camouflage-garbed team were Steven Hammond, Shaun Burbo, Jack VanDerWarker and Ike Allen.
Local entrants included Gallo Realty. Their outhouse bore the sign “SOLD — but we have others!” Angie Mead rode in the structure, while Shane Maltbie, Dan Gaddy, Walt Swartz and Jim Villasenoor provided the locomotion.
Another outhouse, sponsored by The Crossroads general store, was a top contender. Shelby Millington sat on the throne, while Mike Nate and Jeremy West along with Nate Burke pushed and pulled the rig.
An outhouse named “Rustic Plumbing” constructed with stripped timber and slab cedar siding had a balsam-bough roof. It was propelled by locals Michael Sallach, Abe and Blake Gadjo, Paul Matson, and Janine Best rode.
Looking at the gathered crowd on the ice, Matt Simpson said the turnout for the carnival was impressive.
“This attendance is unbelievable, considering this is an upstate rural town in the middle of winter,” he said. “This shows the Tri-Lakes Alliance doesn’t take this economy sitting down.”
Alliance official Cindy Mead said that she was struck by how many people had attended from Hamilton and Essex counties.
“This fulfills the Alliance’s intentions to get things happening in our towns and bring the communities together,” she said. “This was absolutely phenomenal.”