Stephen Miller of Queensbury, a member of the International Coleman Collectors’ Club, shows off a gasoline-fired clothes iron, an artifact in his collection of pressurized-gas appliances. His extensive collection of Coleman lanterns — and gas lamps of other brands — line the walls of his Queensbury den. The Coleman Collectors’ Club is holding its convention in Lake George this weekend, and is planning an expo on Saturday, plus a mass lantern light-up Friday, June 29 on the beach of the Georgian Resort.
An eerie glow emanating from the Georgian Resort beach on southern Lake George Friday June 29 will signal the arrival of people from all over the world with an unusual common interest.
The mass gasoline lantern light-up event will be a highlight of the 2012 convention of the International Coleman Collector’s Club, an organization of enthusiasts of pressurized gas appliances.
Earlier this week nearly 200 people had signed up for the group’s 20th annual convention, including six members from Germany, two from Denmark, a family from the Philippines, 40 club members from Canada, and several Amish families from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Canada.
This gathering in Lake George is the first time the group’s convention will be held in the northeastern U.S., and this fact — along with the wealth of area attractions — is why this year’s attendance is record-breaking, said event organizer and club member Stephen Miller, a resident of Queensbury.
“We have an absolutely beautiful area — and the only Coleman outlet store in the northeast is just four miles away from our convention site,” he said, predicting 30 more people are likely to sign up this week.
Whether it’s several mass light-ups, a cruise on Lake George, or a hike up Shelving Rock, the attendees are likely to be delighted, he said.
But the featured event will be the two-day expo of pressurized-gas lanterns, lamps, stoves, camping equipment and lots of strange items including antique clothing irons. This collectors’ show is set for Fort William Henry from noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday June 29, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday June 29. Demonstrations, seminars, and camping gear vendors will all be featured. The public is invited to the expo.
The event is also will include an auction of vintage appliances and seminars on Coleman lamp history, collecting and repair.
Miller said part of the reason his club’s 2012 convention is breaking attendance records is that Lake George offers plenty of activities for families, whether it’s exploration of the outdoors, golfing, boating, camping, lake swimming, or visiting the Great Escape Theme Park or any of the area’s many attractions.
“The Lake George area has a lot to offer, and hopefully many of the club members attending will be back,” he said, noting that his wife Robin is the convention’s activities director. He added that Robin and he have appreciated the extensive help that the Warren County Tourism office has provided in accommodating the convention.
Miller added that the most important aspect of the convention is not the lanterns and stoves, but the friendships people make at the event through their common interest.
“There’s a lot of excitement and talk about the convention,” he said. “The guys can’t wait to get together in Lake George, fire up their appliances, and see each other again.”