IT’S CARNIVAL TIME! Competitors in the 2009 Lake George Winter Carnival outhouse race drag their custom-built craft across the lake ice toward a finish line. This year’s competition, to be held in the Fort William Henry parking lot due to lack of lake ice, is to be filmed by a national cable television channel.
Regardless of a lack of thick ice, the annual Lake George Winter Carnival is likely to present a fun-filled weekend, event officials said early this week.
A large crowd is expected to attend, not only due to moderate weather predicted, but also to watch a national television crew videotape the Carnival’s annual outhouse races and other events, said Nancy Nichols, who serves as Carnival chairman along with Lou Tokos.
“It’s going to be outrageous, we’re expecting so many people,” Nichols said.
Nearly all activities conducted most years atop a frozen surface of the lake will still be held — but in nearby locations, they said.
She and Tokos said a video crew from Animal Planet or its cousin, the Discovery Channel, is producing a new show based on the life of a “hometown boy” from the country, and faux-outhouse creations being pulled across the ice will provide a segment for the series.
“The executive producers aren't divulging details, but they sound extremely excited to come up here,” Tokos said. “And we’ve got some national exposure coming to our area.”
Discovery Communications networks didn’t respond to inquiries this week.
Due to a large number of spectators expected for the outhouse races at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, the event has been moved from Amherst St. to the Fort William Henry Resort parking lot.
Unusually warm weather has delayed the formation of ice on Lake George this winter. As of Monday, a thin layer of ice had formed on the surface, but it might be two weeks until the ice is thick enough to support people, their snowmobiles and ATVs, Tokos said.
But the traditional carnival events will be held regardless, Nichols said.
Saturday’s event lineup includes a chili cookoff at 12:30 p.m. on Shepard Park Beach, the Carnival parade down Canada St. at 4 p.m., and the popular bonfire on the beach shortly afterwards, followed by fireworks. This latter gathering includes marshmallow roasting and free s’mores as well as the chill-chasing blaze accompanied by live musical entertainment.
New this year are Monster truck rides around a course on the former Gaslight Village property.
A high-powered, jacked-up giant pickup, no less than nine feet tall, is to be transporting 10 people at a time around a course of about an acre.
“All ages should enjoy this new Carnival event,” Nichols said.
Helicopter rides, put on hold a week ago, will indeed be offered, Nichols said, along with tethered hot-air balloon rides.
Children’s activities will be held both Saturday and Sunday, whether it’s the Children’s Olympics at 2 p.m. Sunday or the indoor craft activities and zumba at King Neptune’s Restaurant. A petting zoo is to be offered near Shepard Park at about noon both days, featuring alpacas on Saturday and mini-donkeys on Sunday.
A full schedule of events can be found at www.lakegeorgewintercarnival.com.
“The Carnival is ‘100 percent go’ at this point,” Tokos said.
“And to have national television coming to Lake George is a wonderful experience for everyone,” Nichols added.